Switzerland, Denmark to Resume Humanitarian Activities in Niger

Innoventia Africa – Switzerland and Denmark have resumed humanitarian activities in Niger after halting them following the July 2023 coup d’état that ousted President Mohamed Bazoum.

The EU, Canada, the US, the World Bank and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) imposed sanctions on Niger to pressure the military leaders to return power to Bazoum.

On Tuesday, local news website Niger Tribune reported that the Swiss Cooperation Office in Niger has resumed its activities. “We have carried out a security analysis and even if the situation remains fragile, we can work on site,” the head of communications of Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAE) was quoted as saying.

“The people of Niger are on the verge of catastrophe, which could lead to a potential flow of refugees. Naturally we cannot turn a blind eye to this situation,” Denmark Foreign Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen told daily Politiken.

Over the weekend, Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso signed a defense and economic alliance called the Alliance of Sahel States (AES). All three countries, former French colonies and all ruled by the military, have severed relations with France. Most recently, Niger asked the French ambassador and French troops to leave the country.

The resumption of humanitarian activities in Niger by Switzerland and Denmark is a welcome development. The country is facing a number of challenges, including a food crisis, insecurity, and the displacement of millions of people.

The establishment of the AES is another significant development. The alliance is seen as a way for the three countries to pool their resources and capabilities to better address the security challenges they face.

However, it is important to note that the AES is still in its early stages. It remains to be seen how effective the alliance will be in addressing the security challenges facing the three countries. It is crucial to continue to monitor the situation in Niger and to provide support to the people of the country.

By Felix Tih

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