ECOWAS Parliament Divided Over Military Intervention In Niger Republic
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) parliament is divided over measures to adopt to handle the political crisis in the Republic of Niger.
According to The Nation on Saturday, while some of the parliament members spoke in support of dialogue and diplomacy, others called for actions that would stem the trend of coup d’etat in the region.
Twenty-two parliamentarians took part in the virtual extraordinary meeting to discuss how to resolve the political crisis in the West African country.
Some of the parliamentarians against military intervention explained that any military intervention will lead to untold hardship.
The first Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of ECOWAS’, Hon Idris Wase opposed military intervention in Niger.
Also, a member of the Nigerian delegation to ECOWAS Parliament, Ali Ndume criticised Nigerian President, Bola Tinubu, who is the ECOWAS chairman of unilaterally closing the Nigerian – Niger border and cutting off the power supply to Niger without getting approval from the National Assembly.
Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, Chairman of the regional bloc, said “No option is taken off the tables including the use of force as the last resort” in his closing remarks at the extraordinary meeting of ECOWAS leaders in Abuja on Thursday.
The bloc also directed the immediate enforcement and monitoring of sanctions on the Republic of Niger military junta.
Also, the bloc ordered the “deployment of the ECOWAS stand-by force to restore constitutional order in the Republic of Niger”.
The President of ECOWAS, Omar Alieu Touray declared this while reading the resolution of the bloc on the Niger coup following the extraordinary meeting in Abuja.
The bloc also called on the African Union, AU, partner countries and institutions to support the resolution taken by the sub-regional body.
ECOWAS lamented that efforts made to have a peaceful dialogue with the military junta in Niger were rebuffed.
It also directed the “committee of the Chief of Defence Staff to activate the ECOWAS standby force with all its elements immediately”.
It, however, declared its willingness to embrace diplomacy in resolving the political crisis in the country.
Earlier, Tinubu said, “We prioritise diplomatic negotiations and dialogue as the bedrock of our approach.”
He continued: “Regrettably, the seven-day ultimatum we issued during the first summit has not yielded the desired outcome. We must engage all parties involved, including the coup leaders, in earnest discussions to convince them to relinquish power and reinstate President Bazoum.
“We must exhaust all avenues of engagement to ensure a swift return to constitutional governance in Niger.”