Niger coup d’etat: Rights group rejects military action by ECOWAS

Niger coup d’etat: Rights group rejects military action by ECOWAS

Etim Ekpimah

Rights group, Center for Human Rights and Accountability Network (CHRAN) has urged the chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and President of Nigeria, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, not to wage war with the military junta of Niger Republic but to explore Diplomatic Dialogue in resolving the political quagmire there.

The Director of CHRAN, Mr Franklyn Isong and its Deputy Director, Mr Vincent Aluu, said this in a statement in Uyo on Monday, 7 August 2023.

The statement is coming on the heels of the expiration of the 7-day ultimatum issued to the Niger military junta by the ECOWAS leaders.

The CHRAN warned that military action may adversely affect the human rights of the innocent civilians in the Niger Republic and poses long-term dire consequences to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the West African region at large.

The center condemned in strong terms the action of the military against the democratically-elected president of the country, calling for an immediate return to democratic governance in the Niger Republic.

According to the center, it commended the steps taken so far by the ECOWAS leadership in the matter but, noted that it rejects military action against the junta, urging the ECOWAS leaders to adopt diplomacy, deliberations, negotiations and compromise.

The group which is also a pro-democracy advocate, also cautioned that military intervention may lead to collateral damages, killing of unarmed civilians, destruction of lives and property and, most likely result in an ideological war involving some world powers against African countries.

The center said: “In restoring democracy, ECOWAS should consider the immediate and long-term implications of its actions on the people of the Niger Republic and the wider West African sub-region.

“Observe that bad governance on the part of civilian leaders has brought about recent military take-over in some of the African countries. Advise civilian presidents in African countries to learn from these unfortunate developments by promoting good governance, the rule of law, and being accountable to their people to win the confidence and trust of their citizens and by so doing, discourage military coup d’etat in Africa.”

CHRAN also called on the ECOWAS chairman and President of Nigeria to put the interest, safety and well-being of Nigerians into consideration before taking any foreign policy decision.

The group added that a military onslaught against the Nigerien military junta will put the lives of Nigerians residing along border towns and the business interests of Nigerian entrepreneurs in grave danger.

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