The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has rejected the Niger Republic junta’s three-year timeline for retaining power in the country.
The body made its position known through its Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Abdel-Fatau Musah who stated this during an interview on Sunday.
It was earlier reported that the leader of the junta, General Abdourahamane Tchiani, had declared in a televised broadcast that it intended to retain control of the country for three years before handing it over back to the civilian government.
“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,” he said.
However, Musah stated in the interview that the military had to hand over to the civilian government in the shortest time possible.
“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,” he said.
On Saturday, an ECOWAS delegation led by former Nigerian Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, and the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Abubakar, arrived in Niger for a final attempt at diplomacy with the junta.
They were received by the country’s military-appointed Prime Minister, Lamine Zeine, and the delegation was also able to meet with the ousted civilian President of the country, Mohamed Bazoum.