Niger Republic: Tinubu In Make-Or-Break Meeting 

*Abdulsalami Abubakar, Touray, Ribadu In Attendance

*African Union Suspends Niger Republic

*Major announcement May Follow

Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has entered a crucial meeting that could decide whether the ECOWAS confronts the coup leaders in Niger Republic militarily or continue in the ongoing efforts to resolve the removal of the country’s elected government diplomatically. 

The meeting which is being attended by some critical ECOWAS stakeholders will be a last minute effort to defuse the smouldering political tension in the sub-region over the crisis in Niger Republic.

Tinubu is the chairman of the authority of the Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

In a fresh development, the African Union said Tuesday it had suspended Niger Republic until civilian rule in the country is restored and would assess the implications of any armed intervention in the troubled Sahel nation.

According to Agency Reports, the Peace and Security Council of the continental body, “requests the AU Commission to undertake an assessment of the economic, social and security implications of deploying a standby force in Niger and report back to Council,” the bloc said, following strong differences on the matter.

Also attending the ongoing meeting are the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Touray; leader of the ECOWAS delegation to Niger Republic’s military junta, General Abdulsalami Abubakar and the National Security Adviser (NSA) to the President, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.

Though the media was not briefed on the agenda for the meeting, an international relations expert who spoke to the media, said it has to do with efforts geared towards averting armed conflict over the Niger Republic coup.

General Tchiani

“Apparently, President Tinubu does not want to lead ECOWAS to war in Niger Republic. He knows public opinion is decidedly against any war in Niger. But the pressure from the international community particularly U.S. and France is incredible. Even some ECOWAS member-states have become unreasonably hawkish. So, Tinubu is looking for a solution that will not lead to war without losing face,” our source said.

In a communique issued on Tuesday, the AU noted that its decision to suspend Niger followed the failure of the military junta to hand over power to the democratically elected President, Mohammed Bazoum.

It read: “The AU decides, in line with the relevant AU instruments, in particular, the AU Constitutive Act, the Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, to immediately suspend the participation of the Republic of Niger from all activities of the AU and its Organs and institutions until the effective restoration of constitutional order in the country.

“The AU in this regard, calls upon all Member States of the AU and the international community including bilateral and multilateral partners, at large to reject this unconstitutional change of government and to refrain from any action likely to grant legitimacy to the illegal regime in Niger.”

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