JUST IN: ECOWAS rejects Niger junta’s transition period
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has rejected Niger junta’s three-year power transition plan.
ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Abdel-Fatau Musah stated this during an interview with the BBC on Sunday.
It could be recalled that the head of the military junta in Niger Republic, General Abdourahamane Tiani, on Saturday, said he would relinquish power within three years and warned that any intervention by foreign forces would not be a walk in the park.
He stated in a televised address broadcast by Tele Sahel, “Our ambition is not to confiscate power. Transition period will not exceed three years; meanwhile, political parties are urged to submit their vision for the transition within 30 days.
“There’s availability for any dialogue, provided that it takes into account the aspirations of the people of Niger. However, any intervention will open a Pandora’s Box and will not be a walk in the park.”
His warning followed the arrival of an ECOWAS delegation in the country for a dialogue before deciding on military intervention against the junta.
But in the interview, Musah said the junta must hand over in the shortest possible time.
He said “ECOWAS is not accepting any prolonged transition again in the region. They just have to get ready to hand over in the shortest possible time.”
“Military aspect is very much on”.
“The earlier they give power back to civilians and concentrate on their primary responsibility that is defending the territorial integrity of Niger, the better for them.”
Earlier Saturday former Military Head of State, Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), led a delegation of the ECOWAS to Niger in a last-ditch diplomatic effort to reach a peaceful solution with the Niger junta.
The delegation met with Prime Minister Ali Zeine who received them at the airport and led them to the presidential palace.
They later met with the ousted Niger’s president Mohamed Bazoum, after meeting the head of the junta, General Abdourahamane Tchiani.