Colonel Festus Aboagye (Rtd.), a security analyst, has warned the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to exercise caution in how it manages the process to restore democracy in Niger, after soldiers overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum and took control of the Sahelian nation.
The security analyst disapproved of the regional bloc’s threat to act militarily in the conflict and considered it as being “hasty.” He specifically warned the regional bloc not to exacerbate the crisis by failing to take into account the interests of some superpowers.
Moreover, Mr. Aboagye stated that he anticipated ECOWAS to reevaluate its choices and communicate with the numerous military chiefs stationed in the nation and the Sahel region to obtain information on the necessities, expenses, and risks associated with a military intervention.
“We need to be careful with some countries like America. America has not emphasized the reinstatement of Bazoum, America emphasized the restoration or return to democracy. France has also not mentioned the reinstatement of Bazoum, France mentioned its interest.
“If we cannot do it alone, let us dial back and engage because after all, what are we looking for? We are looking for a transition, and we need a transition that is as short as possible and not the Malian situation, where restoring democracy is prolonging.”Colonel Festus Aboagye (Rtd.)
A comprehensive debate on democratic principles, which, according to Colonel Festus Aboagye Aboagye, is the only way to control and stop coups on the African continent.
“When it is all said and done, we should look at what exactly democracy means. Because the only way to prevent coups, is to consolidate democracy, which entails good governance, the rule of law, respect for human rights, and checking corruption. All of which have national security implications, and so, if we don’t do that, we will keep having these situations.”Colonel Festus Aboagye (Rtd.)
Too Late For Diplomacy
On the other hand, Mahama Ayariga, a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament and the Member of Parliament for the Bawku Central Constituency, asserted that it is now too late to use diplomacy to resolve the Niger conflict.
He asserted that ECOWAS’ desired outcomes would not be attained by diplomacy.
“It is too late to be talking about diplomacy because given the posture of the military junta in Niger, I doubt if diplomacy will achieve the results that ECOWAS is asking for– which is that they leave office and hand over power to the former President. It will be difficult for the military junta to do that.”Mahama Ayariga
Additionally, Ayariga stressed that ECOWAS had put itself in a precarious position and would face criticism whether or not it conducted its military operation. “If we don’t respond the way that we have threatened to respond, we are damned, and if we respond that way and we don’t respond effectively, we are damned,” he noted.
There have been calls for ECOWAS to use strong and prompt diplomatic and political action to resolve the problem, rather than its planned military intervention in Niger. Others have also criticized the ECOWAS’ hasty announcement of a military intervention and rejected the use of force to break the political impasse in Niger, indicating that using force to break the current impasse was highly unfavorable and unacceptable.