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Uncertainty in Border Communities Over ECOWAS Military Threat

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Uncertainty in Border Communities Over ECOWAS Military Threat

There is uncertainty over what will be the next line of action for the Economic Community of West AFRICAN States after the Ultimatum handed to the coup leaders in Niger expires.

There is also mounting pressure on the Regional body to explore all options to resolving the standoff, but jettison the use of force contained in ECOWAS resolution.

The sanctions imposed on the landlocked west African country are already been implemented and it is having a biting effect on border towns between Nigeria and Niger Republic.
 

The impact of ECOWAS sanctions on Niger Republic is taking a toll on residents along the border towns between the landlocked country and Nigeria.

Already, there is growing tension in these communities as they count down to the expiration of the regional bloc’s ultimatum for Niger’s coup leaders to restore deposed President Mohamed Bazoum or risk military intervention.

This town that seems to be enjoying respite from attacks by armed bandits and terrorists is now facing an economic meltdown and that could get worse if ECOWAS continues to tighten the noose on the neck of the military coup plotters in Niger republic.

Ibrahim Jalo is the chairman of Jibia People’s Forum. His transistor radio is now a good companion as he listens to news and developments on the standoff between the military in neighbouring Niger and ECOWAS.

He is worried that the coup plotters have called the bluff of the regional bloc and are willing to damn all consequences.

Here in Jibia open market, most of the food items sold are brought in from Niger Republic through the land border.
Inside this market, it is hard to tell who is Nigerian or Nigerien simply by looking at their faces.

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The ties that bind Jibia to Niger are stronger beyond the shared borders.
Already, traders here are fast running out of supply, and food shortage is imminent if the blockade imposed by Ecowas is not lifted.

Trucks carrying Food items and other commodities from Nigeria to Niger are stuck here in Jibia and can not proceed until the borders are open.

Some of the perishable food items may go bad if they do not get to the final consumers in good time.

I met the leader of the traders Association in Jibia town, and he fears that a military option to resolve the standoff in Niger Republic will completely destroy the local economy in the border towns.

At this cattle market in Jibia, the whole place is scanty.
The sellers are idle, and there are no buyers on sight.

They bear the consequence of a military coup that pushed out Mohammed Bazoum’s democratically elected government in Niamey, Capital of Niger.

Crossing from Nigeria into Niger through the available illegal routes on the porous borderline is risky, but we dared the odds.

At some point, the guide warned against filming our journey through the bush paths as it could spell doom.
Not long from his advice, we were intercepted by the Nigerien soldiers, who ordered we return to Jibia.
 

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