BCEAO stops Niger $51m bond issuance amid sanctions

The Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) has cancelled Niger’s planned 30 billion CFA franc ($51 million) bond issuance in the West African regional debt market, in the wake of a recent coup, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The coup, which resulted in the ousting of Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum last week, prompted an emergency summit in Nigeria hosted by the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regional bloc. During the summit, ECOWAS demanded the swift reinstatement of President Bazoum within a week. In response to the coup, the regional bloc imposed sanctions on Niger, including a halt on all financial transactions and a freeze on national assets, with the aim of compelling the coup plotters to restore constitutional order.

Niger, as one of the world’s poorest countries heavily reliant on external aid and financing, had been planning to issue two other bonds in the regional market on August 7 and August 17, as per the issuance calendar of the regional debt management agency.

The international community, too, has responded to the political upheaval in Niger. France, the country’s former colonial ruler, has unequivocally condemned the coup. The European Union swiftly suspended security cooperation and financial aid to Niger following the removal of President Bazoum. The United States, in a cautionary move, has also warned that its assistance to the country could be at risk.

The situation in Niger remains tense and uncertain, with both regional and international actors closely monitoring developments. The cancellation of the bond issuance is just one of the many ramifications the country faces as it navigates through this challenging period of political instability. Observers are keenly watching how events unfold and whether the international pressure will succeed in restoring constitutional order and stability in the nation.

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