ACF Warns Against Military Action in Niger Coup Aftermath

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ACF Warns Against Military Action in Niger Coup Aftermath
ACF Urges ECOWAS to Prioritize Dialogue and Stability

In a recent statement issued by the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), the prominent northern Nigerian socio-cultural group has cautioned against the use of military force by the Nigerian government and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in response to the Niger Republic coup. The statement was signed by the General Secretary of the ACF, Murtala Aliyu, and released on Friday.

The ACF expressed deep concern over the situation in Niger Republic following the coup led by Brigadier General Abdoulrahame Tchiani on July 26th. While condemning the coup, the forum emphasized that peaceful relations with border communities and the overall stability of the region should be the primary considerations when addressing the crisis in Niger.

Aliyu urged the African Union and ECOWAS to prioritize dialogue with the coup leaders as a civil measure to restore democratic governance in the country. The ACF emphasized that resorting to military force against the coup plotters would not guarantee lasting peace and stability in the ECOWAS sub-region. The forum also emphasized that military intervention should not be a prerequisite for efforts to promote democracy in the region in the 21st century.

In their statement, the ACF highlighted the historical ties and shared interests between Nigeria and Niger Republic, with both countries having a long historical border of more than one thousand five hundred kilometers. They cited families, communities, common facilities, farmlands, markets, cultural bonds, and languages that have connected the two nations for centuries, even predating the trans-Saharan trade and colonial times.

The ACF supported ECOWAS’s position to exert pressure on the perpetrators of the coup but emphasized that military intervention should be approached with caution. The forum warned against undermining the principles of non-interference in a country’s internal affairs, as this could have serious legal implications and impact negatively on future relations within the region.

Acknowledging ECOWAS as a shining example of functional Regional Economic Cooperation (REC) on the continent, the ACF called for the peaceful resolution of the crisis through dialogue and diplomacy. They emphasized that any military intervention might provide a temporary solution, but the potential repercussions on Nigeria as a regional leader and on the entire ECOWAS body could be significant and require substantial efforts to rebuild.

In conclusion, the Arewa Consultative Forum voiced its support for restoring democratic rule in Niger but urged the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, under the leadership of President Bola Tinubu, to pursue the path of dialogue and diplomacy rather than resorting to force. The forum emphasized the importance of peaceful coexistence with their brotherly neighbor and maintaining stability in the ECOWAS region.

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