Security analyst, Adib Saani, has revealed that there cannot be justification for coups that occur in African countries.
According to him, the repercussions of coups in countries already struggling with issues of poverty and insecurity far outweighs the positives and changes they desire. He revealed that although ECOWAS must play a critical role in ensuring the subregion remains largely peaceful, especially in the case of resolving the coup in Niger, it is hastily carrying out processes and “being unstrategic”.
Mr Saani stated that ECOWAS is basically not taking into consideration the various nuances and issues that might arise as a result.
“The thing is there cannot be justification for coups. Coups take you decades back and soldiers don’t have a magic wand where they can just change your fortunes overnight. Things don’t happen that way. In the past, I have been very vociferous in criticism of ECOWAS for not being able to bite beyond their bark. So, I think this is an opportunity for ECOWAS to re-assert some level of influence within the subregion…”Adib Saani
Mr Saani indicated that ECOWAS must tread cautiously in its bid to restore constitutional rule in Niger. He explained that this is necessary due to the far-reaching consequences it can have on the subregion.
“Now, we are even talking about a wider subregional security ramification because we are talking about Burkina Faso and Mali that has stated categorically that any intervention in Niger will amount to declaration of war against us… Terrorists love it when there’s chaos and are we ready for the implications?
“Ghana, I must say, has been attached by the terrorism menace – we’ve been fairly peaceful if you compare us to other countries. Are we ready for the fallout and the possibility of our security being compromised?Adib Saani
Commenting on the meeting held in Ghana by the ECOWAS Chiefs of Defense Staff, Mr Saani noted that Ghana has a very important role to play within the local subregional and international scheme of things. However, he noted that the government needs to take into consideration the national interest, by being “strategic rather than getting emotional” about the situation.
Military intervention not the best
Moreover, Mr Saani stated that despite the fact that ECOWAS has every legal means to go into Niger to restore constitutional democracy, especially under the mechanism of conflict prevention, management, resolution, peacekeeping and security Article 25, it is not the best.
Mr Saani questioned the feasibility and practicality of a possible military intervention in Niger. Citing the ongoing war in Ukraine, he revealed that when Russia invaded Ukraine, it thought it was a military operation and now it has become a full-blown war, and at a stalemate. To this, he expressed the need for government to consider the economic implications of getting involved militarily.
“… Already, Ghana has gotten an IMF bailout, with what money are we going to war? Nigeria is debt-stricken over by a $100 billion. Already, we have issues with human insecurities. Just last year, according to the World Bank, close to a million Ghanaians were pushed into the poverty bracket. Nigeria, as we speak, has the highest number of people living below the poverty line in the whole world…
“Let’s also ask ourselves what opportunities might we be creating for terrorists’ groups that are active all over the subcontinent? According to Global Terrorism Index, Burkina Faso is the second most impacted in the world last year after Afghanistan. We have a lot of terrorist activities, even in Niger that even resulted in an ambush in which four American soldiers were killed in 2017. Nigeria is still dealing with Boko Haram and ISIS in West Africa province…”Adib Saani
On Ghana’s role on discussions surrounding Niger coup, the security analyst cautioned government to be very careful in order not to cow to pressure from any place because Ghana has the opportunity to make history either positively or negatively. He highlighted that if it goes on the negative trajectory, and ECOWAS decides to go to war, it will go down in history as Ghana being the country where the war was initiated.
“On the other hand, I’m hoping that we go positively where we explore other means, and it’s quite obvious that the military intervention will come as a last resort; we still have to explore the diplomatic option as well. I’m very optimistic that in the end, that is what is going to be communicated.”Adib Saani