This publication contains the statement of Gambian President Adama Barrow after his visit to an ECOWAS Heads of State Extra-Ordinary Session after the Niger coup on 26th July 2023. The statement is followed by the ECOWAS Communique on Niger giving coup plotters a seven days ultimatum to relinquish power, release detained Nigerien President Bazoum and reinstate him or face military action. Below is the statement from The Gambia’s State House.
The Gambia Sides with ECOWAS in Maintaining Constitutional Order in the Sub-region
State House, Banjul, 30thJuly 2023: H.E President Adama Barrow Sunday 30 July, joined fellow Heads of State at an Extra-Ordinary Session in Abuja, Nigeria, on the Situation in Niger, where the military recently overthrew a democratically elected President.
The Gambia President noted with concern the recent trend of military takeovers in the ECOWAS region, threatening national and regional peace, stability and development. He called on the regional organisation to work on their earlier recommendations for a Standby Force, and enhance dialogue through diplomacy and good neighbourliness for the states and their peoples.
The ECOWAS block, until recently, stabilised on democratic governance and became a beacon of hope for the continent, experiencing countries transitioning from one democratic government to another. The successful elections in the various countries have given hope to the citizens of ECOWAS that with stability, good governance, socio-economic development would be fast-tracked.
The Abuja Summit was a renewal of hope for the citizens of the block, commitment to the rule of law and upholding of good governance through constitutionalism. The ECOWAS Protocol on Good Governance already set the pace for member states to focus on democratic processes.
The Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority, H.E Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in a frank remark at the opening of the Summit, said the presence is respect for democracy and must show a commitment that “without freedom and democracy there can’t be any development. There must be a strong act to protect the life of H.E Bozzoum and make sure he is safe and democracy is restored in the Republic of Niger. No more time to send a warning signal; it is time for Action”
The Final Communique affrims that H.E President Mohamed Bazoum remains the legitimate elected President of The Republic of Niger recognised by ECOWAS, AU and the International Community.
Details from the Abuja meeting are in a Communique released by the ECOWAS Commission.
FIFTY FIRST EXTRAORDINARY SUMMIT OF THE ECOWAS AUTHORITY OF HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT ON THE POLITICAL SITUATION IN NIGER
Abuja, 30th July 2023
1. The Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) met in an Extraordinary Session in Abuja, Nigeria on 30th July 2023, under the chairmanship of H.E. Bola Ahmed TINUBU, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Chair of the ECOWAS Authority.
2. The Extraordinary Summit was convened in response to the latest political developments in the Republic of Niger since the 26th July 2023 coup d’état
3. Present at the Summit were the following Heads of State and Government and mandated representatives:
- H.E. Patrice TALON, President of the Republic of Benin.
- H.E. Alassane OUATTARA, President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire.
- H.E. Adama BARROW, President of the Republic of The Gambia.
- H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO, President of the Republic of Ghana.
- H.E. Umaro Sissoco EMBALO, President of the Republic of Guinea Bissau.
- H.E. Bola Ahmed TINUBU, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
- H.E. Macky SALL, President of the Republic of Senegal.
- H.E. Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE, President of the Togolese Republic.
- H.E. Rui Alberto DE FIGUEIREDO SOARES, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Regional Integration of the Republic of Cabo Verde.
- H.E. Amb. Dee-Maxwell SOAH KEMAYAH, Sn, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia.
- H.E. Rupert DAVIES, High Commissioner of Sierra Leone to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and ECOWAS, Republic of Sierra Leone.
- The Representative of President Bazoum, Republic of Niger.
4. The Summit was also attended by:
- H.E. Dr Omar Alieu TOURAY, President of the ECOWAS Commission.
- H.E. Moussa Faki MAHAMAT, Chairperson of the African Union Commission
- H.E. Leonardo Santos SIMÃO, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General For West Africa and the Sahel and Head of UNOWAS
- H.E. Abdoulaye DIOP, President of UEMOA Commission The Authority, having:
5. Received the Memorandum of the President of the ECOWAS Commission on the political situation in the Republic of Niger;
6. Extensively discussed the latest developments in the Republic of Niger that have been marked by an attempted overthrow by members of the Presidential Guard of the Constitutional order in the Republic of Niger and the illegal detention of the legitimate Head of State His Excellency President Muhammed Bazoum as well as members of his family and government;
7. Recalled, with appreciation, the immediate steps that HE Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Chair of Authority, has taken in the form of statements, communiquės, mission and consultations with regional, continental, and world leaders;
8. Taken cognizance of the condemnation of the attempted coup and the illegal detention of President Bazoum and members of his family and government by the neighbouring countries, the African Union, United Nations, European Union, United States of America, China, Russia, la Francophonie, the Commonwealth, the OIC and other partners;
9. Recalled the principle of Zero tolerance for unconstitutional change of government as enshrined in the ECOWAS and African Union Protocols and other instruments;
10. Resolve as follows:
a. Affirm that His Excellency President Mohamed BAZOUM remains the legitimate elected President and Head of State of The Republic of Niger recognized by ECOWAS, the African Union and the International community; In this regards, only official acts of President Bazoum or his duly mandated officials will be recognized by ECOWAS;
b. Condemn in the strongest terms the attempted overthrow of constitutional order in Niger and the illegal detention of His Excellency President Mohamed Bazoum, President and Head of State of Niger, as well as members of his family and Government;
c. Call for the immediate release and reinstatement of President Mohamed Bazoum as President and Head of State of the Republic of Niger, and for the full restoration of constitutional order in the Republic of Niger;
d. Reject any form of resignation that may purportedly come from His Excellency President Mohamed Bazoum;
e. Consider the illegal detention of President Bazoum as a hostage situation and hold the authors of the attempted coup d’état solely and fully responsible for the safety and security of His Excellency President Mohamed Bazoum, as well as members of his family and Government;
f. In the event the Authority’s demands are not met within one week, take all measures necessary to restore constitutional order in the Republic of Niger. Such measures may include the use of force; To this effect,the Chiefs of defense staff of ECOWAS are to meet immediately;
g. Hold accountable all those responsible for violence and terror against lives and properties of innocent citizens and residents;
h. Condemn the pronouncement of support by foreign governments and foreign private military contractors;
i. Express appreciation to the various governments and partners for their stance and solidarity with ECOWAS;
j. Appoint and dispatch a special representative of the Chair of the Authority to Niger immediately to deliver the demands of the Authority;
k. In the meantime, the following measures are to be applied with immediate effect:
1. Closure of land and air borders between ECOWAS countries and Niger;
2. Institution of ECOWAS no-fly zone on all commercial flights to and from Niger;
3. Suspension of all commercial and financial transactions between ECOWAS Member States and Niger;
4. Freeze of all service transaction including utility services;
5. Freeze of assets of the Republic of Niger in ECOWAS Central Banks;
6. Freeze of assets of the Niger State and the State Enterprises and Parastatals in Commercial Banks;
7. Suspension of Niger from all financial assistance and transactions with all financial institutions, particularly, EBID and BOAD;
8. Travel ban and asset freeze for the military officials involved in the coup attempt. The same applies to their family members and the civilians who accept to participate in any institutions or government established by these military officials;
9. Calls on WAEMU and all other regional bodies to implement this decision.
l. Express appreciation to His Excellency Bola Ahmed Tinubu, President and Head of State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the manner in which he has been conducting the affairs of the community since his election as Chair of the ECOWAS Authority.
Done at Abuja, this 30th day of July 2023.