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A CALL FOR SWIFT RETURN TO CONSTITUTIONAL AND DEMOCRATIC ORDER IN NIGER AND A REVIEW OF THE ECOWAS SUPPLEMENTARY PROTOCOL ON DEMOCRACY AND GOOD GOVERNANCE TO PREVENT FURTHER UNCONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES OF GOVERNMENT IN WEST AFRICA

The West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF) is following with great concern the very delicate political situation in the Republic of Niger where a military coup has taken place, thus distorting the country’s democratic process.

The Forum unequivocally condemns the coups and calls for the immediate and unconditional release of President Mohamed Bazoum and other persons detained following the coup. It also calls on the General Abdourahamane Tiani led junta to respect human rights and the rule of law, by lifting the restrictions Imposed on the constitution and the National Assembly. The civilian population, in particular civil society and the media must not be subjected to any form of intimidation and coercion.

In the wake of this development, we wish to express our deep dissatisfaction with the recurring trends of socio-political crises in the ECOWAS region and their attendant consequences. The implication of this coup is huge: While it places all the Sahelian countries in West Africa under military rule and inches the region as a whole further into democratic backsliding; it also draws attention to the deficit of good governance across the entire West African countries, thus challenging the currency of the ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.

Hence, while WACSOF admonishes the military junta and all the country’s security forces to adhere strictly to their republican vocation of defending and maintaining the country’s security and territorial integrity, it also challenges the ECOWAS Commission to revisit the spirit and letter of its legal instruments and frameworks related to good governance, democratization, unconstitutional changes of government, anti-corruption etc. and define more innovative strategies for resolving such political impasse in the future.

Finally, WACSOF strongly advises the international community and ECOWAS in particular, and the Military junta in the Republic of Niger to seek diplomatic solutions to return the country to constitutional rule in the shortest time possible and in consideration of the best interests of the entire Nigerien citizenry.

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Press Release - WACSOFOSCAO