By Our Correspondent
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has taken a strong stance against the military junta in the Republic of Niger, issuing a seven-day ultimatum for the reinstatement of President Mohamed Bazoum as the democratically elected leader.
Failure to comply with the ultimatum will result in the imposition of stiff sanctions.
Recognizing President Bazoum as the legitimate leader of the nation, ECOWAS has tasked all Chiefs of Defense Staff of member-states to convene for an emergency meeting to devise effective strategies for a potential military operation aimed at restoring constitutional order in Niger.
During the Extraordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the regional body made its resolution clear.
If the military coup masterminds do not heed the ultimatum, ECOWAS threatens to impose land border closures and establish a no-fly zone over Niger Republic.
The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Touray, read the communiqué, calling for the immediate release and reinstatement of President Mohamed Bazoum as the legitimate President and Head of State of the Republic of Niger.
The communique reads in part:
“Reject any form of resignation that may purportedly come from His Excellency, President Mohamed Bazoum; considered the illegal detention of President Bazoum as a hostage situation and hold the authors of the attempted coup that are solely and fully responsible for the safety and security of His Excellency President Mohammed Bazoum, as well as members of his family and government.
“In the event the Authority’s demands are not met within one week, take all measures necessary to restore constitutional order in the Republic of Niger.
“Suspension of all commercial and financial transactions between ECOWAS Member States and Asia. Freeze all service transactions including energy transactions.
Freeze assets of the Republic of Niger in Aqua Central Bank. Freeze of assets of the Niger State and the state enterprises and parastatals in commercial banks.
“Suspension of measure from all financial assistance and transactions with all financial institutions, particularly EBID”, he said.