The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has taken a decisive stance against the recent military coup in Niger by suspending the nation from all decision-making bodies within the regional bloc. This move follows the overthrow of President Mohamed Bazoum’s government on July 26th, 2023, prompting ECOWAS to call for the restoration of constitutional order in Niger.
In a statement released on Thursday, the ECOWAS Commission clarified its position on the situation in Niger. Prior to the Heads of State and Government Summit held on December 10th, ECOWAS had initially characterized the events in Niger as an attempted coup, with President Bazoum recognized as the legitimate leader. During this period, Niger actively participated in ECOWAS structures, with its government representatives attending statutory meetings.
However, the Summit marked a significant shift in perspective, acknowledging the success of the coup in ousting President Bazoum’s government. As a result, the ECOWAS Commission, guided by its commitment to democratic governance and constitutional order, has suspended Niger from all decision-making bodies until constitutional rule is reinstated in the country.
This suspension underscores the commission’s dedication to upholding democratic values and ensuring peaceful transitions of power within its member states. The ECOWAS Commission is urging the military junta in Niger to promptly establish a roadmap for the return to constitutional order. Key steps emphasized include the release of detained government officials and the organization of free and fair elections.
Expressing solidarity with the people of Niger, ECOWAS stands ready to support their aspirations for a peaceful and democratic future. The Commission remains actively involved in monitoring developments closely and is committed to facilitating the restoration of stability and constitutional governance in Niger.
The ECOWAS suspension reflects the regional body’s strong commitment to democratic principles and sends a clear message that unconstitutional changes in leadership will not be tolerated within the West African region. The situation in Niger remains a focal point for ECOWAS as it strives to encourage the prompt return to democratic norms and the rule of law in the country.