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No Plans for Invading Niger Republic – ECOWAS

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Protocol Mechanism allows for force deployment in the case of conspiracy.

President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) commission Dr. Omar Touray, has stressed that the regional community has neither declared war on the people of Niger Republic nor planned an invasion of the country. After noting that a few influential individuals in the region had propagated the misinformation of the intended invasion of Niger by the ECOWAS Standby Force, Dr. Touray issued this clarification while addressing journalists in Abuja, Nigeria. In the event of an unconstitutional change in governance in any member nation, he explained that some actions may be required.

According to Touray, the ECOWAS Protocol’s Mechanism allows for the deployment of force in the case of an overthrow or conspiracy to remove a government that was democratically elected. If a member state fails to meet its commitments to the community, sanctions might be enacted in accordance with the 2012 Supplemental Act. Regardless he said Niger is a party to all of these agreements, and they all include provisions for the use of justifiable force in re-establishing constitutional order.

Constitutional order needs to be restored in the country.

The Authority of Heads of State and Government, according to the regional bloc’s president, is only exercising these powers to ensure constitutional order is restored in the country. The sole action taken by the ECOWAS Authority was to trigger a full-scale usage of sanctions, which included the employment of lawful force in order to restore order. He denounced the inaccurate portrayal of the decision made by the Heads of State and Government as an expression of war against the Niger Republic or an invasion that was intended to take place in the country.

Dr. Touray added that in the meantime, the region was using other aspects of its instruments to engage the military authorities in collaboration with the African Union and the United Nations. However, ECOWAS is keeping its fingers crossed that all of its diplomatic efforts will result in positive action on the side of the junta as arrangements continue to get the force ready for deployment in the event that it becomes necessary to use military force.

People’s best interests will continually be advocated for.

Moreover, the commission president cautioned the military junta that the organisation will not tolerate a coup d’etat and that it is not too late for them to change their minds. He also called on the junta led by General Abdourahamane Tchiani to restore civilian authority as soon as possible, saying that the transition time of three years was unacceptable. He said that ECOWAS was confident that the junta would respond positively to diplomacy but that preparations were still underway to have a force ready to deploy if necessary.

He added that the organisation will keep pushing for civilian governance in Niger, insisting that its activities are not against the interests of the people there. He stressed that force wouldn’t be the only option and that all other options would be explored first. Dr. Touray stated that the group still supported the people because they deserve the freedom to move throughout the region, and he assured the public that the community would continue to advocate for the people’s best interests.

A seven-day ultimatum is given for compliance.

Lastly, he explained that ECOWAS did not at any point or in any place indicate that they would employ force at the conclusion of the seven-day ultimatum that had been issued up until this point. As a part of the regulations that will be enforced, the president stated firmly that the mobilisation of the Standby Force was still on the table, as it was provided for in the 1999 document, and that it was permissible.

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ECOWAS: Website

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