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Friday 1 December 2023 Dublin: -2°C
Alamy Stock Photo Abdourahmane Tchiani

Niger leaders slam UN chief for General Assembly snub

President Mohamed Bazoum was overthrown by the military on July 26.

LAST UPDATE | Sep 23rd 2023, 7:15 AM

THE MILITARY LEADERS who overthrew Niger’s president criticised late Friday the “perfidious actions” of United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, accusing him of obstructing their participation in the body’s General Assembly.

Political figures from around the world – including an Irish contingent – have been attending meetings at the annual conference, where issues like security, sustainability and human rights are discussed.

President Mohamed Bazoum was overthrown by the military on July 26 and has been detained at home with his wife and child since.

Military chiefs say they plan for a three-year transition period to restore constitutional order.

The fourth West African nation since 2020 to suffer a coup, Niger has come under sanctions – and threats of military intervention – from the Economic Community of West African States.

Bazoum’s removal has also been strongly criticised by Western governments and global bodies, such as the United Nations.

In a news release read on public television, the military called on “the national and international community to witness the perfidious actions of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, which are likely to undermine any effort to end the crisis in our country”.

Guterres “went astray in the exercise of his mission by obstructing Niger’s full participation in the 78th session of the UN General Assembly”, it added.

Global leaders have descended on New York this week for the annual UN General Assembly.

Bakary Yaou Sangare, who before the coup was Niger’s ambassador to the UN and is now its foreign minister, was set to represent Niamey at the gathering.

“Mr Guterres not only refused to take note of the official list of delegates from Niger… but above all acceded to the fanciful request of the former minister of foreign affairs Hassoumi Massaoudou tending to revoke the permanent representative of Niger to the United Nations”, the military statement said.

© AFP 2023