ECOWAS Clarifies Intentions Following Niger Coup

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has addressed recent speculations and concerns surrounding its response to the military coup in Niger Republic. President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Alieu Touray, held a news conference in Abuja to clarify the organization’s stance, asserting that ECOWAS has no intention to invade Niger in the aftermath of the coup.

Touray firmly 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 went on to explain that while the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government has activated sanctions, including the use of legitimate force, to restore constitutional order, these actions are not tantamount to an invasion.

Addressing recent misinformation, Touray noted that some have inaccurately portrayed ECOWAS decisions and actions as being guided by foreign powers with ulterior motives. He emphasized that ECOWAS operates based on its established principles, norms, and values accumulated over its nearly five decades of existence. “Our interest is rather the protection of the rights of our people with the objective of building a rules-based community and fostering peace and prosperity for all in our region,” Touray stated emphatically.

While expressing a commitment to diplomatic efforts, Touray acknowledged that the junta initially dismissed ECOWAS’ diplomatic approaches. Despite this, they later displayed some willingness to cooperate, only to veer towards an alarming path by establishing a government and proposing an unacceptable transition timeline.

Touray conveyed that the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government is dedicated to achieving the peaceful reinstatement of civilian rule in Niger Republic promptly. The organization is prepared to employ all available means to attain this goal, in alignment with its principles and with the ultimate aim of ensuring stability and prosperity within the region.

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