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ECOWAS to Activate Standby Force for Democratic Restoration in Niger

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The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has directed its member states’ defence chiefs to activate and deploy a standby force for the restoration of constitutional order in Niger.

The decision was taken at the bloc’s extraordinary summit in Abuja on Thursday.

Reading the summit's resolutions, the chairman of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Alieu Toura, called on the African Union (AU), partner countries, institutions, and the United Nations to endorse all the commission’s resolutions.

He said the resolutions were taken after careful consideration of the reports of the various envoys sent to dialogue with the military junta in Niger.

“We call on the African Union to endorse all the decisions taken by the ECOWAS authority on the situation in Niger,” Toura said as he read out the communique.

“We further call on all partner countries and institutions, including the United Nations to support ECOWAS in its effort to ensure a quick restoration of constitutional order in conformity with its normative instruments.

“We direct the committee of the Chiefs of Defense Staff to activate the ECOWAS Standby Force with all its elements immediately. 

“Order the deployment of the ECOWAS standby force to restore constitutional order in the Republic of Niger, underscore its continued commitment to the restoration of continued order through peaceful means.”

In his closing remark, the ECOWAS chairman and Nigeria's president, Bola Tinubu, regretted that all efforts to get the military to restore democratic order failed.

He appreciated all delegates to the summit and emphasized that the resolutions were a clear testimony of ECDOWAS’ collective resolve for a more united and democratically resilient West Africa. 

“All is not lost yet. The outcome of this summit is a testament to the power of collaboration and unity,” President Tinubu said.

“We have reaffirmed our commitment to the people of Niger and to the progress of our entire ECOWAS community.”

ECOWAS has tried diplomatic means to get the military junta in Niger to reinstate the ousted president, Mohamed Bazoum, without success.

The junta chose to rather consolidate its hold on power by appointing a former finance minister, Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine, as Niger’s prime minister.

The junta announced other appointments, including Col. Ibro Amadou Bachirou as the private Chief of Staff of the military leader, Gen. Abdourahmane Tchiani, and Lt. Col. Habibou Assoumane as the commander of the presidential guard.


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