WACSOF CONDEMNS THE MILITARY COUP, CALLS FOR RETURN TO CONSTITUTIONAL ORDER IN REPUBLIC OF NIGER, AND BETTER GOVERNANCE IN ECOWAS STATES
ABUJA JULY 31ST 2023: The West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF), is concerned about the military coup that occurred on July 27th, 2022 in NIGER Republic, which led to the arrest of the President MOHAMMED BAZOUM as well as the dissolution of the government and institutions of the Republic of NIGER. WACSOF strongly condemns the coup. Strongly attached to state of law and democracy, WACSOF:
- Strongly condemns any coup de force and therefore calls for the restoration of the Constitution and the rule of law, as well as a rapid return to civilian governance in strict compliance with the constitution and applicable laws;
- Reaffirms its concern at the recurrence of military coups in the region, a situation symptomatic of a deep malaise, resulting from a crisis of governance, endemic corruption, restriction of civic and political space, in States and an extreme politicization of national armies which should remain republican;
- Reminds ECOWAS Member States of the absolute necessity to comply with international and regional legal instruments, notably the “ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance” and the “African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Good Governance (ACDEG)”.
- Recalls in this regard the provisions of Article 1 of the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance which provides that “the army is apolitical and subject to regularly established political authority”;
- Strongly appeals to ECOWAS and the Authority of Heads of State to strive for an inclusive and immediate drastic improvement in democratic governance, the fight against corruption, the protection of human rights and the opening of the civic and political space, in the ECOWAS space, for an ECOWAS OF THE PEOPLES, as expressed in the ECOWAS VISION 2050.
- Also calls on ECOWAS as well as all the stakeholders to work together by favouring the methods of peaceful resolution of disputes which are good offices, mediation, conciliation and facilitation based on dialogue, negotiation and arbitration;
- Calls on ECOWAS or any partner, in a country already facing terrorist insecurity, to avoid any foreign military intervention in NIGER and to encourage a peaceful solution among citizens of Niger republic. Any military intervention risks bringing NIGER into indescribable chaos, with the risk of arms proliferation in the region and the collapse of ECOWAS costal countries.
- Calls on ECOWAS to concentrate its military resources to assist in the fight against terrorists throughout the ECOWAS region to avoid any risk of contamination in other ECOWAS countries.
- Remains seized of the situation in NIGER and invites all civil society organizations to contribute to the return of constitutional order, peace and social cohesion.
Contacts: Media@Wacsof-Foscao.Org / +234 810 287 0960 (WhatsApp)
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With more than 1000 Member Organizations, the WEST AFRICAN CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM (WACSOF) is the umbrella network of the Civil Society in West Africa, covering 18 thematic areas, with representation in 15 countries of ECOWAS. WACSOF is the channel for institutionalized dialogue between civil society organizations and ECOWAS. WACSOF builds capacity, advocates, mobilizes civil society, engages in the formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies for a prosperous, stable and peaceful Africa. WACSOF is an excellent channel, a one-stop-shop for systematic engagement between institutions and civil society organizations, for impactful results. www.Wacsof-Foscao.Org