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WAR BEGINS: ECOWAS Directs Military Force Against Niger Junta

Ilori Ogunmola With Agency Report

LEADERS of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have directed immediate activation of the use of force against the Niger Republic military junta.

The leaders have also called on the African Union (AU) partner countries and institutions to support the resolution taken by the sub-regional body.

ECOWAS says all efforts made to dialogue with Niger Republic military junta have been defiantly rejected by the coup leaders as they condemn continuous detention of President Mohamed Bazoum and his family members.

According to PlatformsAfricareports, the resolution by ECOWAS leaders was reached at the end of the Extra-ordinary Summit on Political situation in Niger Republic attended by eight leaders of member-countries and Foreign Ministers of Liberia and the Gambia in Abuja.

President of Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Ghazouani and his Burundian counterpart, Everiste Ndayishimiye, attended the second ECOWAS extra-ordinary summit on Niger Republic on invitation of their colleagues.

Their summit came four days after the expiry of an ultimatum to Niger’s coup leaders to reinstate the elected president, Mohamed Bazoum, who was detained by guards on July 26.

But the regime ignored the deadline. The coup leaders on Thursday signalled further defiance by appointing a new government.

The 21-member cabinet will be headed by Prime Minister Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine, a civilian, with generals from the new military governing council at the defence and interior ministries.

The Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have resolved to move into Niger Republic to flush out the putschists if they fail to release and reinstate the ousted president, Mohamed Bazoum.

This was the outcome of the second extraordinary Summit of the Authority presided over by its Chairman, President Bola Tinubu at the presidential villa, Abuja on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the President of Cote d’Ivoire, Alassane Quattara, has told journalists on Thursday that the Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS have resolved to move into Niger Republic to flush out the putschists if they failed to release and reinstate the ousted president, Mohamed Bazoum.

Quattara disclosed this at the end of the summit in Abuja, saying that the action against Niger was not a Nigerian affair, as ECOWAS had previously acted in cases where there have been interference with constitutional order among member states.

He stated that the subregional body had sent high-powered delegations to Niger, yet the military authorities have continued to hold President Bazoum hostage, a situation he described as terrorism.

He asserted that ECOWAS will not accept coups, as the place of the military is the barracks.

Quattara said if they did not allow Bazoum to exercise his mandate, “we will go ahead and push them out.”

He affirmed the position as one the ECOWAS has adopted.

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