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Niger Republic restricts flights to and from Nigeria

The Niger Republic military government, led by Abdourahamane Tchiani, has announced an air restriction on flights to and from Nigeria. 

A memo obtained via X today revealed that the restriction was placed on February 6, 2024. Written in French and English, it said the Niger airspace is “opened to all national and international commercial flights from ground to unlimited except for Nigerian flights to or from Nigeria.”

Airspace was also closed for all military operations and other special flights unless permission was obtained from competent authorities before the time of the said flight.  

The restriction on Nigerian flights came after President Bola Tinubu, in his capacity as the ECOWAS leader, attempted a military invasion of Niger last year before Investigative Journalist David Hundeyin disclosed the plans forcing him to back down.  

Before the planned invasion, the Tinubu-led government had cut down the electricity it supplied to the country. It closed its borders, all in a bid to force the military in Niger to back down from its takeover. 

The failed invasion led to an alliance between the military leaders of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger Republic, all of which are currently under military rule. The three West African countries had announced their exit from the ECOWAS.  

Tchiani came into office following a coup that overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26. 2023.    

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