Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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Implications of European support for ECOWAS and Paris on the Niger crisis

Friday 08/September/2023 - 08:11 PM
The Reference
Mohamed Shaat


In a new development in the Nigerien coup crisis, the European Union spokesman for foreign affairs, Peter Stano, announced that the EU categorically rejects the Nigerien military junta’s announcement of a three-year transitional period, indicating that it supports the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) group’s position on the crisis rejecting the transitional period announced in Niger.

During a press conference in Brussels on August 22, Stano said, “We continue to support all the initiatives of the ECOWAS group, and we have been informed that it has rejected the three-year transitional period announced in Niger and the holding of elections after it. We at the European Union support all of the group’s efforts, including mediation to restore constitutional order in Niger.”

ECOWAS announced its categorical rejection of the Nigerien military junta’s announcement of a three-year transitional period, which indicates the complexity of efforts to end the crisis through diplomatic means.

In continuation of the EU’s position on the crisis in Niger, the EU showed its support for the French ambassador to Niger after the military junta announced his expulsion and gave him 48 hours to leave the country. The spokeswoman for the EU’s diplomatic department said that the Nigerien coup leaders’ decision to expel the French ambassador “is a provocation that will not contribute to achieving a diplomatic solution to the crisis.”


Military shield

The EU's position comes at a time when African countries are threatening to act as a “military shield” to confront any Western attack on Niger, led by Mali and Burkina Faso, in conjunction with ongoing internal demonstrations rejecting military intervention in Niger and calls by the military junta for the armed forces to be prepared and always on alert to confront any invasion in light of the increasing threats.


Implications of the European position

Sufyan Mohammed, a Nigerien academic writer and researcher, explained in special statements to the Reference the implications of the European Union’s position, its causes, and its repercussions on the crisis in Niger, pointing out that the reasons for the EU’s position are due to the mentality of Western countries in supporting the alleged democratic system globally, as there were treaties and agreements between the EU and the African countries, and there is nothing that would sever those relations between the two parties other than a coup against the democratic regimes. If Western politicians support the coup in Niger, it is as if they lied and refuted themselves and what they claim.

Mohammed explained that the moderate image in Western politics is to support countries whose people chose their presidents through ballot boxes and not through force, although this does not prevent the existence of hidden agendas that serve the Western side in its relations with other countries and the interests of EU countries with regimes that are subject to coups.

He added that if Western countries supported coups and disrupting political work in the region, even with countries and rulers opposed to them, that would be an open door to disrupting political work in the world, and their statement would be contrary to their claimed support for countries that respect the freedom of the people to choose who represents them in their governments.

Regarding the impact of the European Union’s support for ECOWAS’s position and the extent of its ability to resolve the crisis, Mohammed said that determining this depends on the circumstances of the war once it breaks out, but it will strengthen ECOWAS’s position and help in approving this position even in the United Nations.