President Tinubu Chaired ECOWAS has activated a standby force and commenced gradual ease of Niger Republic sanctions.
NaijaOnPoint Nigeria reports that the leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have resolved to urgently review efforts to activate a standby force for counterterrorism operations in areas infested by terrorist groups.
This Nigeria news platform understands that this was made known in a communiqué read by Dr. Omar Touray, President of ECOWAS Commission, at the end of the 64th ordinary session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, on Sunday in Abuja.
ECOWAS said the leaders reiterated their commitment to the eradication of terrorism and other threats to peace, security, and stability in the region.
They also resolved to hold an extraordinary summit on unconstitutional changes of government aimed at promoting peace, security, and democracy in the region.
The ECOWAS leaders directed the commission to embark on deep reflection and explore the possibility of convening the extraordinary summit.
The Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, chaired by President Bola Tinubu, established a committee of Heads of State to engage with CMSP, the military junta in Niger Republic, on the need for a short transition roadmap and the emplacement of monitoring mechanisms.
The Authority promised a gradual easing of sanctions based on outcomes of the engagement, emphasizing the need for the immediate and unconditional release of detained President Mohammed Bazoum.
“The Authority deeply deplores the continued detention of President Mohammed Bazoum, his family and associates by the CMSP regime.
“The Authority further deplores the lack of commitment on the part of the CMSP to restore constitutional order. Consequently, the Authority calls on the CMSP to release President Mohammed Bazoum, his family, and associates immediately and without precondition.
“The Authority decides to set up a committee of Heads of State made up of the President and Head of State of the Republic of Togo, the President and the Head of State of the Republic of Sierra Leone, the President and Head of State of the Republic of Benin, to engage with the CMSP and other stakeholders with a view to agreeing on a short transition roadmap, establishing transition organs as well as facilitating the setting up of a transition monitoring and evaluation mechanism towards this speedy restoration of constitutional order.
“Based on the outcomes of the engagement by the committee of Heads of state with the CMSP, the Authority will progressively ease the sanctions imposed on Niger.
“In the event of failure by the CMSP to comply with the outcomes of the engagement with the committee, ECOWAS shall maintain all sanctions, including the use of force, and shall request the African Union and all other partners to enforce the targeted sanctions on members of the CMSP and their associates,” the communique read.
At the meeting chaired by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the regional leaders commended the efforts being made by member states and the ECOWAS commission to work on the consolidation of democracy, peace, security, and stability in the region.
The Authority noted, in particular, the peaceful elections that took place during the year in Nigeria, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, and welcomed the peaceful resolution of the electoral dispute in Nigeria, as well as the peaceful outcome of the dialogue between the opposition and the government in the Republic of Sierra Leone.
On the fight against terrorism and other related security matters, the leaders instructed the commission to expedite the convening of the meeting of ministers of finance and defence to agree on the modalities for the mobilization of internal financial, human, and material resources on a mandatory basis to support the deployment of the regional counterterrorism force.
“The Authority takes note of the commencement of assignment by the Special Envoy on Counterterrorism, Ambassador Baba Kamara, and directs the commission to facilitate his mission,” Touray read.