The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has disproved claims of manipulation of external powers in its efforts to resolve the political instability in Niger Republic.
ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Abdel-Fatau Musah made this known in a live appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Monday.
The West African bloc is working to restore political stability in Niger after the military toppled and detained President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26th.
ECOWAS met the West African military defence chiefs in Accra, Ghana on Thursday to discuss a possible armed intervention to reverse a coup with many accusing the bloc of being pushed by foreign powers.
But Musah says foreign support is not part of the consideration of the West African body. The ambassador stated that even if force is used to remove the Junta, the countries showing support on the ground, including ECOWAS, will remain neutral and make independent decisions.
“We’ve never discussed our plans with any foreign power, whether they are on the ground, they are in the air, they are in their countries – ECOWAS is taking an independent autonomous decision,” Musah said.
He noted that ECOWAS has not given any consideration to the complexities of the nationals and multinationals who have given a foot on the ground.
“I’m just coming from Accra where the chiefs of defence staff finalised their preparation for a potential military intervention in the country – foreign support was never part of the country at all.
“We are in with our contingent own equipment, and our resources and we are not asking anybody for support, that is the position of ECOWAS,” he said.
The regional body has imposed several sanctions on Niger and has threatened military action if the coup leaders fail to return power to Bazoum, with many accusing them of acting on France’s directives.
“We do not care who supports the use of force. What we are saying is that it is one of the tools in our arsenals when it comes to restoring constitutional order, but we have not exhausted the non-cohesive element of our constitutional framework in the country,” he said.