Dr. Abdel-Fatau Musa, the Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS) Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security (CPAPS), has reaffirmed that the organization will not wage war against Niger.
Rather, he claimed that they are actually at war with the junta that masterminded the coup.
When asked if ECOWAS had considered the potential effects of sending troops to Niger as part of efforts to reestablish constitutional democracy, Dr. Abdel-Fatau Musa responded that all of those factors had been taken into consideration during the planning of this operation.
“We are talking about the Ghanaian citizens who are there, there are other nationals of West Africa, there are about 700,000 Nigerian citizens and refugees in Niger and we are very much aware of that.
“We have also taken into account the possibility of reverse refugee flows out of the country. But let me assure you, in planning, we are not going to war against Niger, we are going to war against the CNSP junta. The CNSP junta is the one and we are making that very clear.”Dr. Abdel-Fatau Musa
As stated by Dr. Abdel-Fatau Musa, ECOWAS has consistently claimed that military action will be its last resort in the effort to have an understanding with the Military Junta in Niger. He asserted that “you, the media, are actually sounding the war drums.” He claimed that from the outset of this crisis, ECOWAS had consistently declared that it will use every instrument in its arsenal.
“We condemn the coup, we ask for the release of President Bazoum and his family, we ask the junta CNSP to restore constitutional order but all that have been on deaf ears.”Dr. Abdel-Fatau Musa
He further claimed that military action would not be an option, if the junta was willing to engage the bloc in a discussion.
In order to restore constitutional order in Niger, the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS requested member states to mobilize a stand-by force. Dr. Musa noted that the decision was made in response to the CNSP, under the direction of General Abdourahamane Tchiani, rejecting two ECOWAS missions.
ECOWAS, he claimed, has consistently attempted to engage in a conversation, but the junta has rejected all of that, until recently.
“All these steps are there and we are still asking them to give peace a chance by opening up the diplomatic channel. We are not the one shutting the door on them. It is rather they shutting the door on us.”Dr. Abdel-Fatau Musa
ECOWAS Notices Consequences Of Sending Soldiers To Niger
According to Dr. Abdel-Fatau Musa, ECOWAS has considered the potential effects of sending troops to Niger on foreign nationals there.
He understood that Niger is home to many foreign nationals, including refugees.
Seidu Abudu, the President of Ghanaians Resident in Niger, recently expressed concern that foreign nationals residing in Niger might be harmed if the ECOWAS sent troops there to combat the coup plotters. Seidu Abudu expressed opposition to any ECOWAS troop deployment to Niger.
Dr. Abdel-Fatau Musa, however, asserted that the sub-regional grouping had consistently insisted that military action will be the last resort.