ECOWAS leaders have agreed to use force to depose Niger’s junta if it fails to restore democratic rule.
The conclusion was reached by West African leaders at their summit in Abuja today, Thursday, August 10, 2023.
According to the communique read by ECOWAS President Omar Touray, the leaders agreed that “all diplomatic efforts made by ECOWAS, in resolving the crisis have been defiantly repelled by the military leadership of the Republic of Niger.”
The leaders also took “note of the expiration of the one-week ultimatum given for the restoration of constitutional order in the Republic of Niger.”
The ECOWAS leaders have since directed “the Committee of the Chief of defence staff to activate the ECOWAS standby force with all its elements immediately.”
They also ordered “the deployment of the ECOWAS standby force to restore constitutional order in the Republic of Niger.”
Below is rye full communique
The Authority having considered the memorandum presented by the President of the ECOWAS commission on the current situation in the Republic of Niger, as well as ECOWAS engagement since the last extraordinary summit;
and having considered the reports of the envoys of the chair, to Niger and various other places;
Carefully considered the report and recommendations of the ECOWAS committee of chiefs of defense staff;
extensively discussed the latest development in Niger since the last extra ordinary Summit held on 30th July 2023.
Noted that all diplomatic efforts made by ECOWAS, in resolving the crisis have been defiantly repelled by the military leadership of the Republic of Niger;
taking note of the expiration of the one-week ultimatum given for the restoration of constitutional order in the Republic of Niger decide as follows:
A. Reiterates its strong condemnation of the attempted coup d’etat and the continued illegal detention of President Mohammed Bazoam, his family and members of his government
B. Further condemns the condition in which President Bazoum is being detained and holds the CNSP fully and solely responsible for the safety, security and physical integrity of President Bazoum, members of his family and government.
C. Uphold all measures and principles agreed upon by the extraordinary Summit held on Niger on 30th July 2023.
D. Underscore the determination of the ECOWAS authority to keep all options on the table for the peaceful resolution of the crisis.
E. Enforce all measures in particular border closures and strict travel bans and assets freeze on all persons or groups of individuals whose actions hinder all peaceful efforts aimed at ensuring the smooth and complete restoration of constitutional order.
F. Warn member states who by their action directly or indirectly, hindered the peaceful resolution of the crisis in Niger about the consequences for their action before the community.
G. Call on the African Union to endorse all the decisions taken by the ECOWAS authority on the situation in Niger.
H. Further call on all partner countries and institutions including the United Nations to support ECOWAS, in its effort to ensure a quick restoration of constitutional order, in conformity with its normative instruments.
I. Direct the President of the Commission to monitor the implementation of the sanctions.
J. Direct the Committee of the Chief of defence staff to activate the ECOWAS standby force with all its elements immediately.
K. Order the deployment of the ECOWAS standby force to restore constitutional order in the Republic of Niger.
L. Underscore its continued commitment to the restoration of constitutional order through peaceful means.