Niger: Niger Military Govt Slashes Budget as Sanctions Bite

Harare — Niger reduced its projected spending for 2023 by 40% as a result of international sanctions imposed after the military overthrew the government in a coup in July, 2023, Reuters reports.

The announcement stated that the budget for this year, which was originally estimated to be U.S.$5.3 billion (3.29 trillion CFA francs) had been reduced to U.S.$3 billion (1.98 trillion CFA francs) but did not specify where the budget cuts would occur.

On July 26, soldiers from the presidential guard detained President Mohamed Bazoum and installed a transitional administration, one of several recent coups in the Sahel area of West Africa. The regional ECOWAS bloc, the European Union, and the U.S. all denounced the coup and responded by imposing penalties, freezing assets, or stopping aid. Food prices have increased and there is a shortage of essential items, such as life-saving medicines, as a result of a trade blockade. However, it doesn’t seem to have lessened the junta’s popularity at home, where many people were tired of the suffering and apparent corruption they had to deal with under the Bazoum administration.

France is to end its military cooperation with Niger and pull its 1,500 troops out of the African country by the end of the year after a military coup there, French President Emmanuel Macron said in September, 2023. Previously, the military government in Niger, which seized control in July 2023, accused France of stationing troops in various West African countries in preparation for “military intervention”.