Home » Niger dares ECOWAS, cuts ties with Nigeria to abort peace talk

Niger dares ECOWAS, cuts ties with Nigeria to abort peace talk

by Akeem Adeyemi
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Niger dares ECOWAS cuts ties with Nigeria to abort peace talk
General Abdourahamane Tchiani speaks on national television [Fiel: AFP]

The military junta in the Niger Republic has cut the country’s relationships with Nigeria after the efforts of the Economic Community of West Africa States, ECOWAS, to resolve the ongoing leadership crisis in the country.

IdanNews had earlier reported that ECOWAS had issued a seven-day ultimatum to the military junta to reinstate the ousted President Mohamed Bazoum.

However, Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu on Thursday also sent a high-powered delegation to the country to meet with the coup leaders.

Meanwhile, Daily Trust reports that the delegation led by General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd) only met with representatives of the junta, adding that Niger has severed ties with Nigeria, Togo, France and the United States.

“The functions of the extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassadors of the Republic of Niger” to France, Nigeria, Togo and the United States are terminated,” the paper said Radio France International quoted one of the coup leaders to have said on national television.

Recall that ECOWAS vowed on Wednesday to do anything within its capacity to reinstate elected President Mohamed Bazoum in Niger.

General Christopher Musa, chief of Defence Staff, had earlier hinted that military action could be deployed to arrest what he termed as a hostage situation in Niger.

“We need to restore constitutional order; when the seven days elapse, anything can happen. Heads of state have said nothing is off the table,” he said. “We are not sure which country will be next; if we do not arrest this situation, West Africa is going to be a laughing stock of Africa and the world.”

“Nigeria is a regional leader; there is no way this region can overcome these challenges without the leadership role of Nigeria. We are at an inflection point now; it seems like President Bola Tinubu is being challenged,” he added.

He noted that some member states led by military leaders had said any declaration of war upon Niger “is also a declaration on them and even threatened to withdraw from ECOWAS”.

“We want to reassure that once they were signatory to the ECOWAS protocol, that is not going to be tolerated and we are going to do everything to ensure that the situation in Niger is resolved.”

He noted that “ECOWAS’ strength lies in unity, shared values, and commitment to democracy, peace, and prosperity. In this regard, we are tasked with a mission to restore democracy in the Republic of Niger and preserve germane humanitarian principles across the region. Our decisions will inevitably shape the lives of millions of people around the sub-continent.

“The political instability in Niger is a source of grave concern for us all. It threatens our shared vision of a peaceful, secure, and prosperous West Africa, a vision that is impossible to achieve amidst political upheavals and disruptions to constitutional order. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to deliberate on this issue and chart a course towards resolution, in accordance with the principles of democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human rights.”

The CDS said decisions taken will send a strong message about their commitment to democracy, intolerance for unconstitutional changes of government, and dedication to regional stability.

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