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ECOWAS threatens force, gives 7-day ultimatum for return to democracy in Niger

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ECOWAS threatens force, gives 7-day ultimatum for return to democracy in Niger


 

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
Authority of Heads of State and Government has given General Abdourahamane
Tchiani, the mastermind of the supposed coup in Niger Republic, seven days to
return power to Mohammed Bazoom.

 

The decision formed part of resolutions reached at the
emergency meeting of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, which
held in Abuja, Sunday.

 

Other resolutions at the end of the meeting included a stern
warning that if the alleged coup plotters failed to restore political stability
in seven days, ECOWAS may use force.

 

ECOWAS had also directed the chiefs of defense staff of
member states to meet immediately.

 

According to Omar Alieu-Touray, President of the ECOWAS
Commission, who read out the resolutions, the leaders have ordered the closure
of land and air borders between ECOWAS countries and Niger.

 

Other immediate sanctions by ECOWAS, include the imposition
of a no fly zone on all commercial flights to and from Niger.

 

He also announced the suspension of all commercial and
financial transactions between ECOWAS Member States and Niger, including the
freezing of all service transactions, including energy transactions, as well as
the freezing of the assets of the Republic of Niger in ECOWAS Central Banks.

 

Present at the summit were the following heads of state and
government and mandated representatives: His Excellency, President Patrice
Talon, President of the Republic of Benin, President Alassane Ouattara,
President of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire. Adama Barrow, President of the
Republic of the Gambia. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, President of the Republic
of Ghana.

 

Others are General Omar Umaro Mokhtar Sissoco Embaló,
President of the Republic of Guinea Bissau. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, President of the
Federal Republic of Nigeria, Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal,
President Faure Gnassingbé of the Togolese Republic. The representative of the
President of the Republic of Cape Verde, the representative of the President of
the Republic of Liberia, the representative of President Bazoom, President and
Head of State of the Republic of Niger, the representative of President Julius
Maada Wonie Bio, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone.

 

Others include Omar Al Turia, president of the ECOWAS, Musa
Faki, Muhammad, chairperson of the African Union Commission, Leonardo Santos
Simão, who was special representative of the United Nations Secretary General
for West Africa and the Sahel and Head of Universe, including Mr Job, President
of the Commission of UMR.

 

Touray said the principle of zero tolerance for
unconstitutional change of government as enshrined in the ECOWAS and African
Union protocols and other instruments remains in force.

 

His words, “ECOWAS resolve as follows.

 

“One, His Excellency President Mohammed Bazoom remains the
legitimate, elected president and head of state of the Republic of Niger,
recognized by ECOWAS, the African Union and the international community.

 

“In this regard, only official acts of President Bazoum or
his duly mandated officials will be recognized by ECOWAS.

 

“Condemn in the strongest terms, the attempted overthrow of
constitutional order in Niger, and the illegal detention of His Excellency
President Mohammed Bazoum, President and head of state of Niger, as well as
members of his family and government.

 

“Call for the immediate release and reinstatement of
President Mohammed Bazoum as president and head of state of the Republic of
Niger, and for the full restoration of constitutional order in the Republic of
Nigeria.

 

“Reject any form of resignation that may purportedly come
from His Excellency, President Mohammed Bazoum.

 

“Consider the illegal detention of President Mohammed
Bazoum, as a hostage situation and hold the authors of the attempted coup
d’etat solely and fully responsible for the safety and security of His
Excellency President Mohammed Bazoum, as well as members of his family and
government.

 

“In the event, the authorities’ demands are not met within
one week. Take all measures necessary to restore constitutional order in the
Republic of Niger. Such measures may include the use of force. For this effect,
the chiefs of defense staff of ECOWAS are to meet immediately.

 

“Hold accountable, all those responsible for violence and
terror against lives and properties of innocent citizens and residents of
Niger.

 

“Condemned the pronouncement of support by foreign
governments and foreign private military contractors. Express our appreciation
to the various governments and partners for their stance and solidarity with
ECOWAS.

 

“Appoint and dispatch a special representative of the chair
of the authority to Niger immediately to deliver the demands of the authority.

 

“In the meantime, the following measures are to be applied
with immediate effect.

 

“Closure of land and air borders between ECOWAS countries
and Niger.

 

” Institution of ECOWAS, no fly zone on all commercial
flights to and from Niger. Suspension of all commercial and financial
transactions between ECOWAS Member States and Niger.

 

” Freeze all service transactions, including energy
transactions. Freeze assets of the Republic of Niger in ECOWAS Central Banks.
Freeze of assets of the Niger State and the state enterprises and parastatals
in commercial banks.

 

“Suspension of measures from all financial assistance and
transactions with all financial institutions, particularly EBID, and BAORD.

 

“Calls WAHU and all other regional bodies to implement this
decision.

 

“Impose travel ban and asset freeze for the military
officials involved in the coup attempt. The same applies to their family
members, and the civilians who accept transactions, in any institutions or
government, established by these military officials.

 

“Express appreciation to His Excellency Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
President and Head of State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the manner
in which he has conducted the affairs of the community since his election as
chair of the ECOWAS authority”.

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