The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) emphatically clarified its position regarding Niger Republic following the recent military coup. President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Alieu Touray, addressed the media in Abuja to dispel misconceptions surrounding the regional body’s intentions.
Touray made it clear that ECOWAS had no intentions of invading Niger. He stated, “let me state unequivocally that ECOWAS has neither declared war on the people of Niger nor is there a plan, as it is being purported, to ‘invade’ the country.” He further elaborated that the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government had, instead, initiated a comprehensive sanctions strategy aimed at restoring constitutional order.
Addressing misunderstandings that have arisen, Touray condemned the distortion of ECOWAS decisions and actions by certain parties, labeling regional authorities as being manipulated by foreign forces with ulterior motives. He emphasized ECOWAS’ commitment to its own principles, rules, regulations, norms, and values, which have evolved over its nearly five decades of existence.
Touray underscored that ECOWAS operates independently, without being dictated by external powers. He asserted that the primary concern was the protection of citizens’ rights, while striving to create a foundation of peace and prosperity for the region.
While ECOWAS has been open to diplomatic solutions, Touray noted that some members of the Niger junta initially resisted these efforts, only later showing a willingness to engage. However, the situation took a concerning turn when the junta established a government along with an unacceptable transition timeline.
The ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government’s objective remains steadfast: the peaceful reinstatement of civilian rule in Niger without unnecessary delays. To achieve this, ECOWAS is prepared to utilize all available instruments at its disposal, maintaining its focus on adherence to established norms and principles.