Don’t Turn Niger To Another Libya, African Bishops Warn Tinubu-Led ECOWAS Against Military Action

…. As Ousted President Cries From Isolation

The Reunion of Episcopal Conferences of West Africa bishops has advised the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to avoid a repeat of the Libya situation by not deploying military forces to Niger to fight the junta that ousted President Mohamed Bazoum.

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The church, in its letter to the chairman of ECOWAS, Bola Tinubu, Heads of State of ECOWAS and the Transitional Authorities in Niger, called for restraint and discernment in the management of the socio-political situation in the country.

The Libya humanitarian crisis which is still ongoing started in 2011 and had resulted in the displacement of over 900,000 people as of 2020, with the escalation still ongoing, a United Nations official, Yacoub El Hillo, had disclosed.

The crisis in Libya started out as a protest and then there was a foreign military intervention to oust the country’s then leader, Muammar Gaddafi.

Though he was eventually killed, the country is yet to recover from the development as conflicts keep breaking out from different quarters.

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Citing Libya as an example, the church’s President, Most. Rev. Alexis Touabli Youlo, said the West African leaders must toe path of dialogue and ensure that the development does not deteriorate beyond control.

“Libya remains a tragic example of the disastrous consequences for people’s lives, dignity and future.

“We cannot remain silent in the face of such situations and must learn lessons to ensure
that such events do not happen again, particularly with Niger as a potential epicentre of a similar crisis.

“As Bishops Conferences, our mission is intimately linked to the promotion of reconciliation and peace,” he stated.

Ahead of ECOWAS meeting on Thursday, the Conference called on the parties to work for the peace of the region and by extension, the African continent.

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“We call on regional and sub-regional institutions such as ECOWAS and the African Union to show responsibility before history and to revisit their respective missions.

“At this critical and delicate time, it is essential that these organisations play an active role in the search for peaceful and lasting solutions, putting the interests of the people and respect for their dignity first.

“In conclusion, we invite you to respond positively to this call for restraint, discernment and responsibility. Let us work together to build a future of peace and prosperity for our region and for Africa as a whole,” he stated.

Meanwhile, President Bazoum told CNN that he has been in solitary confinement since his removal and has been “deprived of all human contact.”

Earlier, he sent out an article to the media, asking the United States and ECOWAS to use every means to take out the junta.

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