ECOWAS shelves military threat to Niger


ECOWAS leaders

from ABDULLAHI ABUBAKAR in Niamey, Niger
Niger Bureau
NIAMEY, (CAJ News) – BY embracing dialogue to resolve the crisis in Niger, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has relented in its hardliner stance against the errant member state.

The regional body, following a meeting in Nigeria, opted for diplomacy, instead of the earlier threat of military intervention, in an effort to compel the military regime to restore democracy and reinstate President Mohamed Bazoum.

He was deposed in a coup in late July.

The meeting on Thursday was the second summit in the wake of Bazoum’s overthrow by the Presidential Guard and his subsequent placing under house arrest.

Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who chairs the 15-member ECOWAS, confirmed the bloc was embracing dialogue with military administration of General Abdourahamane Tchiani.

“We must engage all parties involved, including the coup leaders, in earnest discussions to convince them to relinquish power and reinstate President Bazoum,” Tinubu said in a statement released to the media by Ajuri Ngelale, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity.

The Nigerian president added, “It is our duty to exhaust all avenues of engagement to ensure a swift return to constitutional governance in Niger.”

Tinubu reiterated the political crisis in Niger not only posed a threat to the stability of the nation but also had far-reaching implications for the entire West African region.

”By remaining steadfast in our adherence to the principles of democracy, good governance, and the rule of law, we can restore peace, stability, and prosperity in the Republic of Niger, thereby fostering an environment conducive to growth and development for all.”

Presidents of Benin, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo attended the ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit.

Foreign Ministers of The Gambia and Liberia attended, alongside presidents of Burundi and Mauritania, who are not members of the bloc.

Tensions were palpable in the runup to the summit.

On Tuesday, Niger’s junta snubbed the tripartite delegation of the African Union (AU), ECOWAS and United Nations (UN).

– CAJ News








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