Abdelaziz Issoufou, a trader in Niamey's large market, said: "We are very happy that the siege has been lifted. For us, this is a holiday, because everything will return to normal."

He added to Agence France-Presse: "The month of Ramadan will come, and we hope that the prices of basic materials will fall, so that the rich and poor will be able to find what to feed their families."

For his part, Eric Daniel, a resident of Niamey, stressed that "lifting sanctions is a very good thing" for this country, which has about 26 million people, the majority of whom are Muslims.

In Tahoua (southwest), the news was greeted by honking car horns and parades of motorcycles and cars.

Economist Hime Garba said that the lifting of sanctions was expected by the majority of Niger's population, and also by residents of neighboring countries, with which Niger conducts many trade exchanges.

At the conclusion of a summit held on Saturday in Abuja, the heads of member states of the Economic Community of West African States decided to "immediately lift" the toughest sanctions they imposed on Niger on July 30, four days after the military seized power and ousted elected President Mohamed Bazoum.

The organization said that the reopening of the Nigerien borders and airspace, the resumption of financial transfers between the group’s countries and Niger, and the unfreezing of Niger’s state assets are all linked to a decision taken for humanitarian reasons.

As of Sunday afternoon, the Nigerien authorities had not expressed any reaction to the announcement issued by the regional organization, from which Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali announced their exit at the end of January.

The sanctions have severely affected Niger, where the level of extreme poverty exceeds 40 percent, according to the World Bank.