Niger: ECOWAS Denies Influence Of ‘Foreign Power’, Insists On Independence

ECOWAS Chair and Nigeria’s President, Bola Tinubu, during second summit on Niger coup held in Abuja on Thursday, August 10, 2023

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has refuted charges of external power manipulation in its efforts to address political instability in Niger Republic.

Abdel-Fatau Musah, ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security, stated this during a live appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Monday.

After the military deposed and jailed President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26th, the West African bloc is attempting to restore political stability in Niger.

On Thursday, ECOWAS met with West African military and defense chiefs in Accra, Ghana, to consider a possible armed intervention to destabilize a coup, with many accusing the bloc of being pushed by foreign interests.

However, Musah claims that external assistance is not being considered by the West African group. The envoy stressed that even if force is required to depose the Junta, the countries demonstrating support on the ground, including ECOWAS, will stay neutral and make their own judgments.

“We’ve never discussed our plans with any foreign power, whether they are on the ground, they are in the air, they are in their countries – ECOWAS is taking an independent autonomous decision,” Musah said.

He noted that ECOWAS has not given any consideration to the complexities of the nationals and multinationals who have given a foot on the ground.

The ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Amb. Abdel-Fatau Musah, appears on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Monday, August 21, 2023

“I’m just coming from Accra where the chiefs of defence staff finalised their preparation for a potential military intervention in the country – foreign support was never part of the country at all.

“We are in with our contingent own equipment, and our resources and we are not asking anybody for support, that is the position of ECOWAS,” he said.

The regional body has imposed several sanctions on Niger and has threatened military action if the coup leaders fail to return power to Bazoum, with many accusing them of acting on France’s directives.

“We do not care who supports the use of force. What we are saying is that it is one of the tools in our arsenals when it comes to restoring constitutional order, but we have not exhausted the non-cohesive element of our constitutional framework in the country,” he said.

Written by PH

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