The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS Commission) on Friday said that the commission had not declared war on Niger Republic but made it clear that military force remained an option to restoring democracy and possibly the ousted democratically elected President, Mohamed Bazoum to power.
However, the body was not spoiling for war now and would explore all measures before considering military exercise.
The President of the Commission, Dr. Omar Touray, made this known at a media briefing to clarify the position of ECOWAS in Niger crises in the ECOWAS Secretariat yesterday.
Asked why ECOWAS did not pull same strings against the forces in Burkina Faso, Mali and Guinea when military forces toppled their governments he expressed worries that military intervention was fast creeping back into Africa and that it was time to end it.
President Touray assured the people of Niger that the regional body was concerned about their welfare as it works towards restoring civilian rule and political stability in the country.
The military junta had on July 27, sacked the democratically elected President of the Republic of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum, over alleged poverty and impoverishment of the masses.
Although the people took to the streets to welcome the military intervention, ECOWAS leadership handed down a seven-day ultimatum to the junta to reinstate the ousted Bazoum or risk intervention of whatever form.
At the expiration of the seven days, ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government began a process of finding a peaceful resolution to the impasse amidst calls by various stakeholders to thread with caution so as not to further escalate violence in the region.
But President Touray felt that the current development in the Republic of Niger added to the list of coups d’état in the region, the reason Heads of State and Governments decided that this is one coup too many and resolved that it was time to end the contagion.
He added that the situation in Niger was particularly unfortunate as it came at a time the country was doing comparatively well in terms of security and economic growth.
Justifying the planned deployment of military force to reinstate Bazoum, Touray tasked those challenging the legality of the decision of ECOWAS Heads of State to do more research.
He frowned that in spite of numerous provisions against military government and sanctions provided in the various articles and chatters, the decision to deploy military against the junta has been taken out of context and repeatedly misrepresented in the media as a declaration of war against Niger Republic or a planned invasion of the country.