The Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff (CDS) of Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) countries concluded a three-day Extra Ordinary Meeting in Abuja on Friday. During the meeting, the chiefs emphasized the need for a comprehensive approach encompassing political, security, and diplomatic dimensions to address the situation in Niger Republic.
Gen. Christopher Musa, Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff and President of the committee, praised ECOWAS for its strong support for democracy, with the militaries of member countries firmly backing this stance. The committee acknowledged the seriousness of the situation in Niger and the urgent requirement for a well-coordinated response.
They also considered the immediate and broader implications of the coup in Niger on democracy, peace, and stability in West Africa. The military chiefs condemned the coup, seeing it as a disregard for the fundamental principles that underpin regional integration and stability.
To enhance collective security response, the meeting called for strengthening the regional security architecture, including intelligence sharing, joint training exercises, and capacity building initiatives among the defence and security forces.
The meeting stressed the importance of diplomatic efforts, dialogue, and negotiations to engage all relevant stakeholders, traditional authorities, civil society, and organizations to foster an inclusive and peaceful transition process in Niger.
ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security, Amb. Abdel-Fatau Musah, commended the military chiefs for developing a concept of operation for a potential military intervention to restore constitutional order in Niger. However, the organization remains focused on diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis, with the military option being the last resort.
Nigeria expressed its commitment to restoring democracy in Niger but emphasized that the military option would only be considered if all diplomatic overtures fail.
Countries like Togo, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Nigeria, Liberia, Guinea Bissau, Ghana, Gambia, Cote D’Ivoire, Cape Verde, and Benin were present at the meeting, while Niger, Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso were absent.
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