Diplomacy/International

Niger: We don’t want war, but attacks will be resisted – Military junta tells ECOWAS

Abdourahmane Tiani, leader of Niger Republic’s military junta, says the country is ready to defend itself against any form of invasion from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

 

Speaking in a televised address on Saturday night, Tiani said the country is not keen on war but will resist any “manifestations of it”.

 

According to the coup leader, “a military intervention will not be the walk in the park some people seem to think”.

 

“Neither the army nor the people of Niger want war, but we will resist any manifestation of it,” Tiani added.

 

“There’s availability for any dialogue, provided that it takes into account the aspirations of the people of Niger.”

 

PRP: War Not In Nigeria’s Interests

 

Joining other Nigerian opposition parties to warn against military intervention by ECOWAS, the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) on Sunday said the option of war is “not in the interests of Nigeria, Niger and ECOWAS.”

 

Falalu Bello, PRP national chairman, said military intervention could lead to the spread of violence and instability in the West African region.

 

“There exists an excellent neighbourliness and good relationship between the two countries that are closely linked economically, culturally and geographically,” the statement reads.

 

“It will be tragic if these relationships for centuries are spoilt. Niger Republic depends on Nigeria for trade and investment, and Nigeria depends on Niger for some products.

 

“A war would disrupt this economic interdependence and harm both countries.”

 

The PRP urged President Bola Tinubu, who is also the ECOWAS chairperson, to painstakingly pursue dialogue and diplomacy in resolving the situation.

 

Mali and Burkina Faso, both West African countries also under military rule, had backed the military coup in Niger, pledging to take up arms if there is any foreign intervention.

 

Last week, after meeting with a mediation team comprising Islamic scholars from Nigeria, Niger’s military junta said it was open to dialogue.

 

The junta has also said it will transition to civilian rule within three years.

 

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