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ECOWAS to resume talks with Niger Republic junta, threatens force if demands are not met

ECOWAS to resume talks with Niger Republic junta, threatens force if demands are not met
December 10
22:39 2023

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has resolved to resume talks with the military junta in Niger Republic.

The resolution is contained in a communique read by Omar Touray, president of ECOWAS commission, at the end of the 64th ordinary session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS on Sunday in Abuja.

The meeting, which was chaired by President Bola Tinubu, resolved to establish a committee of heads of state to engage with the Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland, the military junta in Niger Republic, on the need for a short transition roadmap and the placement of monitoring mechanisms.

The ECOWAS also promised a gradual easing of sanctions imposed on the country if the military junta complies with the outcome of the negotiations, and also release detained President Mohammed Bazoum.

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“The Authority deeply deplores the continued detention of President Mohammed Bazoum, his family and associates by the CMSP regime,” the communique reads.

“The Authority further deplores the lack of commitment on the part of the CMSP to restore constitutional order. Consequently, the Authority calls on the CMSP to release President Mohammed Bazoum, his family, and associates immediately and without precondition.

“The Authority decides to set up a committee of Heads of State made up of the President and Head of State of the Republic of Togo, the President and the Head of State of the Republic of Sierra Leone, the President and Head of State of the Republic of Benin, to engage with the CMSP and other stakeholders with a view to agreeing on a short transition roadmap, establishing transition organs as well as facilitating the setting up of a transition monitoring and evaluation mechanism towards this speedy restoration of constitutional order.

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“Based on the outcomes of the engagement by the committee of Heads of state with the CMSP, the Authority will progressively ease the sanctions imposed on Niger.

“In the event of failure by the CMSP to comply with the outcomes of the engagement with the committee, ECOWAS shall maintain all sanctions, including the use of force, and shall request the African Union and all other partners to enforce the targeted sanctions on members of the CMSP and their associates.”

The heads of states also resolved to urgently review efforts to activate a standby force for counterterrorism operations in areas infested by terrorist groups.

This is not the first time ECOWAS would be threatening the use of force in Niger Republic.

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In July, days after the coup in Niger Republic, ECOWAS gave the junta a one-week ultimatum to hand over power to the democratically elected government or face invasion.

However, the coup plotters ignored the warning and remained in power since then.

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