Following the coup that toppled President Mohamed Bazoum of Niger Republic, leaders of the Economic of West African Countries (ECOWAS) and the region’s Defence Chiefs in separate meetings have made far-reaching decisions aimed at resolving the political stalemate in the country.
Contrary to the claim in a section of the media of a looming military intervention in Niger, there is no plan for any immediate deployment of troops for that action for now.
A top intelligence source told PRNigeria that the resolutions of the two bodies of ECOWAS emphasised dialogue, economic and security sanctions as necessary steps to be explored at resolving the crisis before any other action could be contemplated.
“President doesn’t express his personal opinion but the resolutions of ECOWAS Leaders which he chaired as the current rotational Chairman.
“The resolutions include further engagements to resolve the political logjam,” the intelligence who claimed anonymity added.
While President Bola Ahmed Tinubu Chairs ECOWAS, Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen Chris Musa, is the chairman of the region’s Defence Chiefs.
In a letter sent to the Senate and read by the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, at the plenary, President Tinubu explained that the resolutions of the ECOWAS were considered after a meeting with African leaders.
PRNigeria reports that in attendance at the ECOWAS Extraordinary Session held in Abuja over Niger crisis were Presidents Umaro Sissoco Embalo of Guinea-Bissau, Alassane Ouattara of Cote D’Ivoire, Faure Gnassingbe of Togo, Macky Sall of Senegal, Patrice Talon of Benin, and Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, while
Cape Verde and Liberia were represented by their Foreign Affairs Ministers, Luís Tavares and Dee-Maxwell Kemayah Sr., respectively
The letter read: “Following the unfortunate political situation in Niger Republic culminating in the overthrow of its President, ECOWAS under my leadership condemned the coup in its entirety and resolved to seek the return of the democratically elected government in a bid to restore peace, ECOWAS convened a meeting and came out with a communique.
“Closure and monitoring of all land borders with the Niger Republic and reactivating of the border drilling exercise.
“Cutting off Electricity supply to the Niger Republic
“Mobilising international support for the implementation of the provisions of the ECOWAS communique.
“Preventing the operation of commercial and special flights into and from Niger Republic.
“Blockade of goods in transit to Niger especially from Lagos and eastern seaports.
“Embarking on sensitisation of Nigerians and Nigerians on the imperative of these actions, particularly via social media.
“Military build-up and deployment of personnel for military intervention to enforce compliance of the military junta in Niger should they remain recalcitrant.”
Similarly, ECOWAS Defence Chiefs resolved to place dialogue at the forefront of the regional body’s approach to resolving the crisis in the Niger Republic.
While reading the communique from their meeting, General Chris Musa said the region’s Defence Chiefs acknowledged the need for a comprehensive approach that encompasses political, security, and diplomatic dimensions.
PRNigeria notes that at least military chiefs from 12 countries in ECOWAS attended the meeting at Defence Headquarters in Abuja. They were from Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, Togo, Sierra Leone, Liberia, The Gambia, Côte D’Ivoire, Cape Verde, Senegal, and Guinea Bissau.
Musa noted that the committee recognized the gravity of the situation and the urgent need for a well-coordinated response.