War not preferred option in Niger, but may be inevitable -ECOWAS Defence Chiefs
Military intervention may not be the preferred option to resolve the coup impasse in Niger Republic, but it may become inevitable.
Speaking at the closing of the two days deliberation to map out military strategies for restoring democratic governance in Niger on Friday, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Dr. Ibrahim Abubakar Kana, commended the Chiefs of Defence Staff of ECOWAS countries for yielding to the call to safeguard democracy in the sub-region adding that Nigeria, especially President Bola Tinubu, is committed to ensuring that, “we restore peace, democracy in Niger”.
“Though military intervention is the last option, we are waiting for the call from the authority of heads of state to move out the armed forces by land, sea and air.
“Once the order comes we will move,” he added.
The Chairman of the Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff of ECOWAS countries, General Christopher Musa, said the Chiefs of Defence Staff of the regional bloc have prepared and agreed on a well-coordinated military response and concrete action against the junta in Niger Republic whenever the authorities of the heads of states give the marching order.
General Musa, who is Nigeria’s CDS, added that the military chiefs were behind the stand of the ECOWAS in remaining steadfast for democracy.
The CDS said: “We thank ECOWAS for standing steadfast for democracy. That is what we (committee of chiefs of Defence Staff) stand for.
“We achieved so much from our deliberation and we urged those who have erred to come back home. We will continue to build on our cooperation until we achieve all round peace in our sub-region.”
Declaring that coups have highlighted the fragility of our sub-region, Gen Musa said: “We must intensify our diplomatic process. ECOWAS will not be used for coups.
“Democracy is what we stand for. We deliberated and arrived at a well-coordinated response. We will make our viable, insightful and actionable recommendations known to the authorities of the heads of states.
In his remarks, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Security, Peace and Political Affairs, Ambassador Abdel Fatau Musah said the Chiefs of Defence Staff have come up “with a concept of operation for an eventual military intervention to restore democracy in Niger, which will be sent to the heads of state.”
“All the elements have been worked out including how and when we are going to deploy. We are guided by our protocols including zero tolerance for coups. And if the coups are not stopped today, nobody knows when it is going to end.
“There is a stellar determination by ECOWAS leaders with President Bola Tinubu as Chairman to ensure that we do not have any democratic reversals in our region. We are determined to stop it.
“ECOWAS is not going to tell the coup plotters when we are going to strike. That will be left to the authorities of the heads of state.
“But war is not an option of choice. It is a last resort. So we are giving them every opportunity to reverse and restore democracy. With the steely determination of ECOWAS heads of state, we will make them hand over to civilian administration.”
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