Niger debt default reaches $304 million due to sanctions- agency

DAKAR (Reuters) -Niger has missed payments on interest and capital totalling 187.136 billion ($304 million) CFA francs since a July coup and its suspension from regional financial markets, data from the West African regional debt management agency showed on Tuesday.

The West African monetary union debt management agency UMOA Titres said in a statement on Tuesday that the country had missed another interest payment of around 2.464 billion CFA francs ($4 million) on its debt.

“This payment incident occurs in a context where the State of Niger is subject to sanctions taken against it by the conference of heads of state and government of the West African Economic and Monetary Union,” the agency said.

Niger has been suspended from the regional financial market, and the regional central bank by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the West African monetary union following a military coup in July that ousted President Mohamed Bazoum.

ECOWAS has imposed severe economic and financial sanctions on the junta, including cutting off its access to the state’s accounts with the regional central bank, and has threatened to use force to restore constitutional rule.

($1 = 615.5300 CFA francs)

(Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Bernadette Baum)