According to reports, the financial penalties imposed on the nation by the governments of the European Union, African Union, United Kingdom, and other donor organisations have caused the Niger Republic to remove its troops from the Multinational Joint Task Force stationed near the Nigerian border.
Anaedoonline.ng notes that the EU, UK, AU, and ECOWAS—the main financial backers of the global joint task force—have imposed various sanctions on Niger and withdrew financial support after the country’s military overthrew Mohamed Bazoum’s government.
The freezing of assets, finance limitations, border closures, suspension of imports and exports, power supply interruptions, and the closure of the BCEAO, the regional central bank for West Africa, are just a few of the sanctions designed to put more pressure on the military government.
Speaking to Daily Trust, a source familiar with the issue said: “The sanctions had affected their (Sector 4) operations. The EU provides the funding so due to the sanctions the EU will not be able to pay the Niger contingent.
“Also, when they are deployed the MNJTF helicopter goes to Niger to pick them to Ndajemena but due to the sanctions, they cannot go and pick them up. Even if they come, the EU won’t be paying.
“So officially, MNJTF have not withdrawn from the frontline, and at the same time, there is little they could do because their funding was cut off by the EU. The problem has to do with sanctions.”
“When commanders finish their tour of duty at the MNJTF, Niger may not be able to deploy another commander because MNJTF cannot go to Niger to pick them and even if they do, no funding due to sanctions,” the source explains.
The director of defence media operations, Eward Buba, and the spokesperson for the multinational joint task force, Abubakar Abdullahi, both denied that Niger had left the MNJTF in separate responses to the Daily Trust report.
“Note that, Niger is responsible for Sector 4 of the MNJTF that is located in Diffa. The communication channel between the Sector and HQ MNJTF has been less than perfect. This is obviously, due to the political situation,” Buba told Newsmen on Sunday.
Nonetheless, they added that as tensions continued to drop, Defence Headquarters hoped that things would get better.
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