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ECOWAS Orders Activation Of Standby Force Against Niger Junta

NIAMEY, NIGER - JULY 28: Abdourahmane Tchiani and other army commanders held a meeting in the capital, Niamey, Niger on July 28, 2023. Gen. Abdourahmane Tchiani, the head of Nigerâs presidential guard, appeared on national television on Friday and declared himself the new leader of the country after a coup. (Photo by Balima Boureima/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Written by Bunmi Abdulraheem

ECOWAS has directed the Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff to activate the bloc’s standby force with all its elements and deploy them to restore constitutional order in Niger.

This is part of the 12-point communique of the 2nd Extraordinary Summit of ECOWAS read by its President, Dr. Omar Alieu Touray, in Abuja.

The communique explains that the decision was adopted after diplomatic efforts made by ECOWAS in resolving the crisis were repelled by the military leadership in Niger

It upholds closure of borders and strict travel bans and assets freeze on all persons or groups of individuals whose actions are perceived to hinder peaceful efforts aimed at ensuring the smooth and complete restoration of constitutional order, and directs the President of the Commission to monitor the implementation of the sanctions.

The communique warns member-states, which by their direct or indirect actions hinder the peaceful resolution of the crisis in Niger about the consequences for their actions before the community.

It also calls on the African Union to endorse all the decisions taken by the ECOWAS authority on the situation in Niger, and further urges partner-countries and institutions, including the United Nations, to support ECOWAS’ efforts to ensure a quick restoration of constitutional order in conformity with its normative instruments.

The summit condemns the condition in which President Bazoum is being detained, warning that it holds the junta solely responsible for the safety, security, and physical integrity of President Bazoum, members of his family and government.

Closing the summit, President Bola Tinubu said all hope was not lost despite the drums of war being amplified, but warned that no option had been taken off the table, including the use of force as a last resort.

“If we don’t do it, no-one else will do it for us. We remain steadfast in our commitment to supporting Niger in the journey towards peaceful and democratic stability,” he said.

“The road ahead will undoubtedly have challenges, but I firmly believe that with our collective resolve, we can navigate these obstacles and chart a path towards lasting peace and prosperity for Nigeriens  and ECOWAS.”

He said the outcome of the summit was a testament to the power of collaboration and unity.