Niger reopens airspace nearly a month after military coup

The military regime resulting from a coup in Niger decided to reopen Monday, September 4, its airspace, closed since August 6, to national and international commercial flights, according to the official Nigerien press agency (ANP)

Niger reopens airspace nearly a month after military coup

The military regime resulting from a coup in Niger decided to reopen Monday, September 4, its airspace, closed since August 6, to national and international commercial flights, according to the official Nigerien press agency (ANP).

Ground services have also resumed, said a spokesperson for the Ministry of Transport quoted by the ANP. “The airspace still remains closed to all operational military flights and other special flights which are permitted only subject to prior clearances from the relevant authorities,” he added.

Niger announced on August 6 the closure of its airspace "in the face of the threat of intervention which is becoming clearer from neighboring countries", while the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) threatened to to intervene militarily to restore elected President Mohamed Bazoum, overthrown by a coup on July 26.

Niger's land and air borders had been closed by the military the day after their takeover, then reopened with five border countries on August 2, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Libya, Mali and Chad. Some flights, with special authorizations, were however able to continue to serve the airport of Niamey, the capital of the country.

Niger continues to suffer from the sanctions imposed on the country by ECOWAS to make the military bend to power. The UN has warned that regional sanctions and border closures are "greatly affecting Niger's supply of vital food and medical supplies".