The Economic Community of West African States has rejected the three-year power transition plan proposed by Niger’s military junta.
The decision was announced by ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security, Abdel-Fatau Musah, in an interview with the BBC.
The self-declared Head of State in Niger Republic, Abdourahmane Tiani, had stated in a late-night address on Saturday that the country would return to civilian rule within three years.
However, the coup leader did not provide any specific details about the plan, only mentioning that the principles for the transition would be decided within 30 days at a dialogue hosted by the junta.
Following Tiani’s proposal, ECOWAS expressed its dissatisfaction with the prolonged transition period and stated that it would no longer accept such delays in the region.
According to Musah, the regional body is adamant that the junta must hand over power to civilians as soon as possible and focus on fulfilling its primary responsibility of defending Niger’s territorial integrity.
This rejection by ECOWAS comes after a meeting between the junta and an ECOWAS delegation, led by Nigeria’s former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar. It is evident that ECOWAS is resolute in its stance on democracy and the importance of adhering to defined timelines for the return to civilian rule.
The rejection of the proposed three-year power transition plan reflects ECOWAS’ commitment to upholding democratic principles and ensuring a smooth transition of power. Prolonged transitions can be detrimental to the stability and progress of a nation, as they often result in uncertainty and a lack of accountability.
ECOWAS recognizes that a swift return to democracy in Niger is crucial for the country’s development and the well-being of its citizens. By rejecting the proposed plan, the regional body aims to exert pressure on the junta to expedite the transition process and prioritize the establishment of a civilian government.
While the exact timeline for the transition remains uncertain, ECOWAS’ stance sends a clear message to the junta that any delays in returning power to civilians will not be tolerated.
The regional body is closely monitoring the situation and expects the junta to comply with its demands.
Musah further emphasized that the military aspect is of utmost importance. The leader of the junta stated that Niger Republic has no intention of engaging in war, but will not hesitate to defend itself against any foreign intervention should the need arise.