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“Sierra Leone will back any decision taken by ECOWAS on Niger…” Minister of Information and Civic Education, Chernor Bah

HomeAYV News“Sierra Leone will back any decision taken by ECOWAS on Niger…” Minister...

“Sierra Leone will back any decision taken by ECOWAS on Niger…” Minister of Information and Civic Education, Chernor Bah

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AYV News, August 16, 2023

Sierra Leone’s Minister of Information and Civic Education, Chernor Bah has said Sierra Leone will abide by any decision taken by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Niger.

Mr. Bah said: “The ECOWAS position was unanimously taken at a meeting that Sierra Leone was present, and even if we were not…as a member of ECOWAS, we are abiding by the decisions and conclusions of ECOWAS.”

Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) Major General Peter Kakowou Lavahun attended an ECOWAS military chiefs’ meeting in Abuja last week, which discussed a plan for military intervention. He said the decision on whether the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) personnel will deploy in Niger was entirely a political decision to be decided by His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio.

He said Sierra Leone had since pledged a company of RSLAF to the ECOWAS Standby Force, through which it could participate in such a mission if the need arises.

He said: “Our pledge is still active. But if we have to get involved with anything, it has to come from the highest decision-making body. I don’t have the authority to say that I will go to Niger, unless I get the clear directive from the highest level”.

ECOWAS leaders have ordered immediate invasion of Niger, charging the regional body’s standby force to restore constitutional order following the seizure 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 represented by their Foreign Ministers.

President of ECOWAS, Omar Alieu Touray, made the declaration during a meeting of the organisation 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 warning that an invasion could plunge sun-Sahara Africa into turmoil, as well as doubt among Western leaders that the alliance can pull of the operation in a timely manner. 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 minister forming the new government.

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