Statement of Position
We express our deep concern regarding the recent actions taken by ECOWAS, whose primary mandate is to ensure peace, economic benefits, and harmonious relationships among member states.
Specifically, we question the issuance of a 7-day ultimatum and the mention of military operations as an option in the current Niger coup crisis. Not only is the military option unpopular, but it is also an expensive endeavor with a historically low success rate of 15% and, in this instance, an expected success rate of 0% since the individual to be restored is already in the custody of the junta.
It is important to acknowledge that our armed forces are highly professional and have always been dedicated only to maintaining peace. We remember the days of ECOMOG with great pride.
While we condemn any form of insurrection or coup, however, we strongly urge the abandonment of the military intervention. Not only is it ineffective, expensive, and unpopular, but it will also result in unnecessary loss of lives and may be considered an act of aggression, violating numerous international charters, protocols, and declarations.
Specifically, such military intervention would contravene Articles 1, 5, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, and 24 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights; Articles 1(2), 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, and 14 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Articles 1, 3, 22, 23(3), 25(1), and 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948; Articles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 of the Declaration on the Right to Development 1986; Articles 6, 15, 31, 63, and 64 of the Revised Treaty of the Economic Community of West African States; Article 10 of the Supplementary Protocol (A/SP.1/01/05) amending the Protocol (A/P.I/7/91) relating to the Community Court of Justice; and Articles 10(c), 22, 26, 27, 28, and 56 of the ECOWAS Protocol Relating to the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management, Resolution, Peacekeeping, and Security 1999.
Our decision to approach the Community Court of Justice of ECOWAS stems from our commitment to averting a potential World War III scenario, considering the interests of France, America, Russia, China, in Africa in the face of the present debacle.
We strongly implore the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, as they convene today, to fulfill their obligations as outlined in Article 22(2) of the Protocol of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice, which we have invoked and brought to their attention.
Article 22(2) mandates that *’When a dispute is brought before the Court, member states or institutions of the Community shall refrain from any action likely to aggravate or militate against its settlement.”*
We believe that the focus on military intervention should not overshadow the potential effectiveness of alternative measures, such as imposing economic sanctions and exerting political pressure on the current junta. These non-military actions can be powerful tools in addressing the Niger coup crisis.
This tale is not an unrivaled woe!
*Dr. Olukayode Ajulo*, OON, FCIArb. UK