The Ranking Member on Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has called on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to adopt a diplomatic approach to the resolution of the coup situation in Niger instead of using military intervention.
According to the Member of Parliament for North Tongu, the military intervention initiative being explored by the ECOWAS to resolve the impasse in Niger would rather exacerbate the situation.
He argued that military interventions would result in war and require a huge financial investment into which economies of the various West African States are not healthy enough to inject funds into.
Speaking on Good Morning Ghana on Metro TV on August 11, 2023, Okudzeto Ablakwa entreated ECOWAS to discard the idea of the military and deploy more diplomatic tactics in resolving the coup situation in Niger.
“I don’t see that the diplomatic channel has been exhausted in this matter. Another war will not help us, and it will be the first time. It’s a separate situation from what we have now, and we want to see more tactics, want to see more diplomatic skills brought to bear.
“I do not support a military intervention like many Ghanaians, many African people, for I think it will be a really mindless operation which will lead to debts, and we don’t have even the financial muscle to be supporting such an operation,” he asserted.
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa also urged the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to ascertain the root cause of the new wave of destabilization in the West African sub-region, especially in the Francophone countries.
“And in other countries like Mali and Burkina Faso, if you’ve also followed even recently when they returned from the Russia Africa summit, you saw the masses who came to meet these leaders at their airports, the continuous show of support and solidarity. So inasmuch as we all do not support military takeovers and we want to see democracy entrenched, I think that we must take a step back and look at what is creating this new wave, this era of destabilization.
“What are the Francophone Africans demanding? How do we quickly address the real foundational matters and not just be looking at the symptoms? And so far it does appear to me that ECOWAS has been focusing on the symptoms, which does not really go to the core of what the challenge really is now on ECOWAS,” he added.
Following an emergency meeting held in Nigeria by ECOWAS on Thursday, August 10, 2023, a decision has been made to deploy a standby force.
The decision came after the military Junta in Niger refused to comply with ECOWAS’ directive to release President Mohammed Bazoum and hand over to democratic governance.
It remains to be seen the next line of action ECOWAS will take in its bid to resolve the unrest in Niger.