Chernor Bah, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Information and Civic Education, affirms Sierra Leone’s backing of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) against Niger

The Minister stated that the government of Sierra Leone would adhere to any resolution made by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regarding Niger.

He remarked, “The unanimous ECOWAS stance was established during a meeting where Sierra Leone had representation. However, even if we were absent, we would still adhere to ECOWAS’ resolutions as a committed member.”

Major General Peter Kakowou Lavahun, Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), participated in the recent ECOWAS military chiefs’ gathering in Abuja. He deliberated on a military intervention strategy. He emphasized that the decision to deploy Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) personnel to Niger rested entirely on the political determination of His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio.

Continuing his statement, he added that Sierra Leone had previously committed a company of RSLAF to the ECOWAS Standby Force. This commitment positions Sierra Leone to engage in such a mission if circumstances require.

The recently appointed Chief of Defense further stated, “Our commitment remains steadfast. However, any involvement must be sanctioned by the highest echelon of decision-makers. I lack the authority to unilaterally declare our participation in Niger unless I receive a definitive directive from the highest level.”

ECOWAS leaders have mandated the instantaneous aggression of Niger, accusing the regional body’s standby force to revive constitutional order obeying the convulsion of power in a military coup late last month.

Present at the Summit were Presidents of Guinea Bissau, Senegal, Cote‘d’ Ivoire, Ghana, Benin, Sierra Leone, and Togo, while Liberia and the Gambia were embodied by their Foreign Ministers.

President of ECOWAS, Omar Alieu Touray, made the statement during a meeting of the organization yesterday afternoon.

“We direct the Committee of Defence Staff to activate the ECOWAS standby force with all its elements immediately,” Mr. Touray said, adding that the action was to “restore constitutional order in the Republic of Niger.

ECOWAS Chairman, President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria, had said the ongoing political crisis in Niger Republic was a threat to the stability of Nigeria and other West African countries.

The Second Extraordinary Summit on the socio-political situation in the Republic of Niger held in Abuja opened yesterday.

The announcement came despite widespread warnings that an invasion could plunge Sun-Sahara Africa into turmoil, as well as doubt among Western leaders that the alliance can pull off the operation promptly. The United States, France, and others have expressed support for the efforts of ECOWAS in resolving the crisis.

Meanwhile, Niger’s military junta had earlier announced a new government on Thursday, naming Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine, prime minister, to lead other 21 new ministers forming the new government.