During their three-day Extraordinary Meeting in Abuja, the Committee of Chiefs of Defense Staff (CDS) from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) countries emphasized the need for a comprehensive approach that encompasses political, security, and diplomatic dimensions to address the situation in the Niger Republic.

    Gen. Christopher Musa, Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff and President of the committee, praised ECOWAS for upholding democracy, and he reaffirmed the military’s support for this stance. The committee acknowledged the seriousness of the situation in Niger and recognized the urgency of a well-coordinated response.

    The coup in Niger was condemned as a blatant disregard for the fundamental principles underpinning regional integration and stability. The military chiefs stressed the importance of democracy and the rule of law in the region, and they emphasized the need to strengthen the regional security architecture for a collective response to security challenges.

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    During the meeting, it was acknowledged that intelligence sharing, joint training exercises, and capacity building initiatives should be enhanced among the defense and security forces to effectively combat threats and improve interoperability.

    The meeting also stressed the importance of diplomatic efforts and dialogue to engage all relevant stakeholders, including traditional authorities, civil society, and organizations, to foster an inclusive and peaceful transition process in Niger.

    The ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security, Amb. Abdel-Fatau Musah, commended the military chiefs for preparing a concept of operation for a potential military intervention to restore constitutional order in Niger. However, the emphasis was placed on exploring diplomatic avenues first to resolve the crisis peacefully. If diplomatic efforts fail, ECOWAS is determined to take decisive action to restore civilian authorities in Niger.

    Nigeria’s Ministry of Defense affirmed its commitment to restoring democracy in Niger, with the military option being considered a last resort.

    The meeting was attended by representatives from several ECOWAS member countries, while Niger, Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso were absent.

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