Nigerian Govt Insists On Flight Suspension With Niger Republic

In the aftermath of the military coup in Niger, the Nigerian government maintains its stance on the suspension of flights between Nigeria and Niger Republic.

The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) reaffirmed the ban, emphasizing specific exemptions while shedding light on the ongoing diplomatic tussle between the two neighboring nations.

Abdullahi Musa, the Director of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection at NAMA, reiterated the government’s position, stating, “The closure of air borders between Nigeria and Niger remains in effect as per the directives of ECOWAS.”

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This closure came as part of the regional response to the political upheaval in Niger, where General Abdourrahamane Tchiani assumed power following the ousting of President Mohamed Bazoum.

The suspension, initiated on August 3, 2023, as a Notice to Airmen, evolved into an Aeronautical Information Circular (AIC) by January 29, 2024. This circular emphasizes the strict enforcement of the flight ban, permitting only essential flights such as those in emergencies or with special authorization.

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The move comes amidst broader regional tensions, with ECOWAS taking a decisive stance by closing land and air borders with Niger and declaring it a “No-Fly Zone.” The diplomatic fallout resulted in retaliatory measures from the Niger government, further complicating the aviation landscape between the two countries.

While the suspension disrupts commercial air travel, it underscores the diplomatic and political complexities within the West African region.

With Nigeria and Niger at odds, the resolution of this impasse requires delicate negotiations and adherence to regional protocols.

As Nigeria maintains its position on flight suspension, the broader implications on regional cooperation and stability remain paramount. The resolution of the Niger crisis holds the key to restoring normalcy in cross-border relations and fostering a conducive environment for regional development and cooperation.

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