We Have Not Declared War On Nigeriens, Says ECOWAS President Touray
Written by Teniola Akerele on August 25, 2023
The President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Omar Touray, says the regional organisation has not declared war on the people of Niger Republic nor is there any plan to invade the country.
Touray, who made the assertion on Friday while addressing journalists in Abuja, was unequivocal that use of military force is not being used in the coup-hit West African nation.
The ECOWAS president however noted that scales of sanctions had been activated, including legitimate force.
According to him, the organisation is hopeful that all diplomatic efforts will yield positive action on the part of the junta as preparations continue to make the force ready for deployment, in case it becomes compelling to use such force.
The ECOWAS president stated that it is not too late for the military junta to reconsider as the community would not condone coup de tat.
Reiterating that the three-year transition was unacceptable, Touray urged the military to return to civilian rule as soon as possible.
He added that those challenging the ECOWAS stance needed to do more research, describing it as unfortunate that the decision has been taken out of context and misrepresented by the media as a planned invasion of Niger.
Touray noted that it had been observed that some influential people in the region had promoted the misrepresentation as truth.
The ECOWAS president asserted that the community continued to demand the immediate restoration to civilian rule, explaining that its actions are not against the interest of the people of Niger.
He insisted all measures would be taken and not the use of force alone.
Underlining that the community remained on the side of the people as they deserved to move freely within the region, Touray promised that the community would continue to work in the interest of the people.
He further explained that at no time and nowhere did ECOWAS indicate that at the end of the seven-day ultimatum pronounced hitherto, the use of force would be deployed.
The ECOWAS president affirmed that the use of force was still on the table and as provided for in the 1999 instrument and was permissible, as part of measures that would be enforced.