The President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Omar Alieu Touray, has clarified that the planned military action in Niger is not a war against the country or its people but a mission to restore democratic order and provide the people with the governance they deserve,leadership reports.

Speaking at a news conference, Touray emphasized that ECOWAS had not and would never take actions against Niger’s interests. The regional bloc, comprising Heads of State and Government from ECOWAS member countries, has threatened to use force to reinstate the democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum, who was ousted in a military coup led by General Abdourahmane Tchiani on July 26. ECOWAS has imposed sanctions on the Niger junta, but the coup leaders have not relented.

Touray assured the people of Niger that their welfare is a primary concern for ECOWAS. He stated, “Our major concern is for their welfare as we work assiduously to restore civilian rule and political stability in the country.” He also highlighted ECOWAS’s commitment to solidarity and collective security, integral to its integration agenda.

ALSO READ: Multinational Companies Exit Nigeria Amid High Operating Cost

He acknowledged the tragic consequences of coups d’état in the region and the importance of preserving democracy, especially after the civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone in the 1990s. Despite the region’s previous stability, recent years have witnessed a resurgence of coups, prompting ECOWAS to take action against what it perceives as a disturbing trend.

Touray defended the planned deployment of the ECOWAS standby force, citing the ECOWAS security architecture and relevant instruments, including the 1991 Declaration of Political Principles, the 1993 Revised ECOWAS Treaty, the 1999 Protocol on Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peacekeeping, and Security, and the 2001 Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance. He pointed out that the deployment of the standby force is provided for in the 1999 mechanism, especially in the event of an overthrow or an attempted overthrow of a democratically elected government.

Touray addressed concerns about the legality of ECOWAS’s decision, stating that the authority of Heads of State and Government merely activated existing provisions. He firmly stated that ECOWAS has not declared war on Niger or planned to invade the country but has applied sanctions, including the potential use of legitimate force, to restore constitutional order.

While there is no specified date for using force to restore democratic governance to Niger, Touray confirmed that preparations for the deployment of the force are ongoing. Diplomatic efforts, including missions to Niger and collaboration with partners such as the African Union and the UN, are also in progress, with the hope that a peaceful resolution can be achieved without resorting to force.

Touray underscored ECOWAS’s determination to halt the recurrence of coups in the region, emphasizing the importance of upholding the rule of law and the responsibility of ensuring the security and safety of President Bazoum, his family, and government officials. He reiterated that the regional leaders cannot condone coups d’état and called for a return to democratic governance.

In conclusion, Touray emphasized that while ECOWAS seeks to restore democracy to Niger, the ultimate goal is to uphold the rule of law and maintain regional stability.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here