The Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security (CPAPS), for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Dr Abdel-Fatau Musa, has assured that the body is not going to war against Niger.

He said they are rather warring against the junta that organized the coup.

Asked whether ECOWAS has thought about the possible implications of deploying troops to Niger as part of moves to restore constitutional democracy, Dr Abdel-Fatau Musa said on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday, August 19 that “In the planning of this mission, all those factors have been taken into account. We are talking about the Ghanaian citizens who are there, there are other nationals of West Africa, there are about 700,000 Nigerian citizens and refugees in Niger and we are very much aware of that. We have also taken into account the possibility of reverse refugee flows out of the country.

“But let me assure you, in planning, we are not going to war against Niger, we are going to war against the CNSP junta. The CNSP junta is the one and we are making that very clear.”

Dr Abdel-Fatau Musa further said ECOWAS has always maintained that military intervention will be the last option.

“It is you the media who are actually beating the drums of war,” he said.

“Right from the beginning of this crisis, Ecowas has always said we are going to exhaust all our tools, the array of tools that we have.

“We condemn the coup, we ask for the release of President Bazoum and his family, we ask the junta CNSP to restore constitutional order [but] all that have been on deaf ears.”

He said if the junta is willing to engage the bloc on dialogue, military intervention will not be an option.

On Thursday, August 10 in Abuja, Nigeria, the Authority of Heads of State and Government of Ecowas urged member states to mobilise a stand-by force in order to restore constitutional order in Niger.

The decision, according to Dr Musa, comes after two missions of Ecowas were turned down by the CNSP led by General Abdourahamane Tchiani.

He said Ecowas has always made overtures for dialogue but the junta has rejected all that.

“All these steps are there and we are still asking them to give peace a chance by opening up the diplomatic channel.

“We are not the one shutting the door on them. It is rather they shutting the door on us.”

He said the junta has finally agreed to receive an Ecowas mission on Saturday for peace talks to begin.

Source: 3news

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