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Coup: ECOWAS Orders Deployment Of Standby Force Against Niger Junta

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has said no option is off the table in resolving the political crisis in the Republic of Niger.

Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, Chairman of the regional bloc said “no option is taken off the tables including the use of force as the last resort” in his closing remarks at the extraordinary meeting of ECOWAS leaders in Abuja on Thursday.

The bloc also directed the immediate enforcement and monitoring of sanctions on the Republic of Niger military junta.

Also, the bloc ordered the “deployment of the ECOWAS stand-by force to restore constitutional order in the Republic of Niger”.

The President of ECOWAS, Omar Alieu Touray declared this while reading the resolution of the bloc on the Niger coup following the extraordinary meeting in Abuja.

It also the African Union, AU, partner countries and institutions to support the resolution taken by the sub-regional body.

ECOWAS lamented that efforts made to have peaceful dialogue with the military junta in Niger were rebuffed.

It also directed the “committee of the Chief of Defence Staff to activate the ECOWAS standby force with all its elements immediately”.

It, however, declared its willingness to embrace diplomacy in resolving the political crisis in the country.

READ ALSO : Update: Niger Coup Leaders Form New Government, Announce 21 Ministers

Earlier, Tinubu said, “We prioritise diplomatic negotiations and dialogue as the bedrock of our approach.”

He continued: “Regrettably, the seven-day ultimatum we issued during the first summit has not yielded the desired outcome. We must engage all parties involved, including the coup leaders, in earnest discussions to convince them to relinquish power and reinstate President Bazoum.

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

Niger Political Crisis Poses Threat To Stability Of West African Region – Tinubu

Tinubu has therefore urged ECOWAS leaders that the union should prioritise diplomacy in settling the political crisis in Niger.

Nigerian President, Bola Tinubu on Thursday described the ongoing political crisis in Niger Republic as a threat to the stability of other Western African countries.

Mr Tinubu mentioned this in his speech at the ongoing extraordinary meeting of ECOWAS leaders over the recent military coup in Niger Republic being held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The presidents of ECOWAS nations are due to discuss events in Niger Republic following the July 26 coup that deposed democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum.

The regional body had first met in Abuja a few days ago and issued a seven-day deadline for the Niger junta to reinstate ousted President Mohamed Bazoum or risk sanctions, including possible military intervention.l

ECOWAS ordered the military junta in Niger to reverse their action and reinstate the democratically-elected President. It gave the military junta a seven-day ultimatum to vacate the seat of power and hand over to the sacked President, Bazoum but the ultimatum expired on Sunday with no reaction from the military junta.

Tinubu has therefore urged ECOWAS leaders that the union should prioritise diplomacy in settling the political crisis in Niger.

He said, “More specifically, as leaders of our respective nations, we must recognize that the political crisis in Niger not only poses a threat to the stability of the nation but also has 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.

“I am confident that this 2nd ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit on the Socio-Political Situation in the Republic of Niger will be a defining moment in our journey towards a stronger, more resilient, and integrated West Africa. Let us seize this opportunity to make a lasting impact on the lives of our fellow Africans as we strive to build a future defined by peace, progress, and prosperity,” Tinubu hoped.

It was learned that no fewer than 11 out of the 16 ECOWAS Heads of State and Governments had arrived in Abuja for the summit.

Those absent are the heads of state in the troubled Niger Republic, Mali, Chad and Burkina Faso.

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