ECOWAS strategy for Niger will fail – Security Analyst

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Niger
Niger

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) strategy to deploy military intervention to get the junta out of office will fail, Paul Coonley Boateng, a security analyst, said Sunday.

His comments come on the heels of the decision by ECOWAS leaders to use force against the junta to relinquish power.

Boateng, who is the Executive Director of the Africa Center for Security and Intelligence Studies (ACSIS), told Xinhua he doubts if the sub-regional bloc will have the courage to intervene in Niger.

“The decision by ECOWAS leaders to use force on the Niger coup plotters if they fail to relinquish power will fail; it won’t work. I even doubt the leaders of the sub-regional bloc will have the courage to use the military to intervene,” said Boateng.

The security analyst, however, warned that more military takeovers will occur in the backyard of those leaders who have already taken the decision to intervene in Niger.

According to him, there is a high level of anger and dissatisfaction among ordinary citizens against bad governance in West Africa.

He said, “The ECOWAS leaders have the right to take any decision that suits their agenda; however, some of the participating countries who are planning to go to Niger would not finish the mission, and a similar thing will happen in their backyard.”

The Executive Director of the Africa Center for Security and Intelligence Studies urged ECOWAS leaders to resort to dialogue with the military junta.

“Looking at the situation in Niger, the way forward to approaching this issue is diplomacy and nothing else. ECOWAS leaders must have a frank discussion with the new leaders in order to restore political stability,” added Boateng.

Last Sunday, ECOWAS gave the military junta that toppled elected president Mohamed Bazoum in a coup one week to restore him or face the potential use of force.

West African military chiefs at a meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, on Friday agreed on a plan for a possible intervention in Niger as a Sunday deadline approaches for the country’s military to restore civilian rule.

“We are determined to stop it, but ECOWAS is not going to tell the coup plotters when and where we are going to strike,” explained Abdel-Fatau Musah, the bloc’s Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security. “That is an operational decision that will be taken by the heads of state.”

On July 26, a military junta led by General Abdourahamane Tchiani, leader of Niger’s presidential guard, was named “president of the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland” following a military takeover, state television reported.

Two days later, the UN Security Council strongly condemned the military coup in Niger that ousted President Mohammed Bazoum.

The council members called for the immediate and unconditional release of the president and underscored the need to protect him, his family, and members of his government, according to a press statement.

The council members expressed concern over the negative impact of unconstitutional changes of government in the region, the increase in terrorist activities, and the dire socio-economic situation.

They underlined their regret over the developments in Niger, which undermine efforts at consolidating the institutions of governance and peace in that country.

They expressed support for the efforts made by the Economic Community of West African States, the African Union, and the United Nations, underscoring the urgent need for the restoration of constitutional order in Niger.

Meanwhile, Nigeria has announced its decision to close its land border with Niger due to the recent coup in Niger.

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