June 17, 2024

 Niger military leaders slash budget as sanctions take severe effects

Due to a series of international sanctions imposed on Niger after the military took power in a July coup, the government said its projected spending for 2023 has been cut by 40%, severely stifling the economy in one of the world’s poorest countries.

In an announcement on Saturday, the junta that took over power in the country said the cut became necessary as the sanctions imposed on it took spiral effects.

The budget for this year was reduced from 3.29 trillion local currency to 1.98 trillion, according to the statement by the junta, without specifying where the savings would be made.

On July 26, soldiers from the presidential guard detained President Mohamed Bazoum and established a transitional administration, the latest in a string of coups in West Africa’s Sahel region.

The regional body ECOWAS, the European Union, and the United States all condemned the seizure and levied penalties, frozen assets, or withheld aid.

Niger largely depends on aid from other countries while its economic activities center on subsistence agriculture, animal husbandry, re-export trade, and export of uranium, the radioactive metal widely used for nuclear energy and treating cancer.

The country has been plagued by long-running insecurity caused by violent extremist insurgency groups and the cut in spending could affect its internal security structure.

 

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