Military Intervention In Niger Republic Is War Between Brothers – El-Rufai To ECOWAS
Regional Leaders Strive for Diplomatic Solutions Amidst Rising Concerns Over Potential Conflict
Nasir el-Rufai, the former governor of Kaduna, has issued a strong caution to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regarding the prospect of military intervention in Niger Republic.
In the midst of escalating tensions, President Bola Tinubu, the chairperson of ECOWAS, announced that the regional bloc is considering employing force as a last resort, if the leaders of the recent coup in Niger fail to restore power to ousted President Mohamed Bazoum.
Last week, during a high-stakes gathering of the bloc’s defense chiefs in the bustling capital of Ghana, Accra, ECOWAS revealed its strategic plan to activate its standby force in Niger.
While emphasizing the importance of dialogue as a means of mediation, the assembly conveyed that meticulous groundwork for potential military intervention had been meticulously devised and was currently undergoing fine-tuning. This comprehensive plan encompasses critical factors such as timing, resource allocation, as well as the specifics of deployment including location and date.
El-Rufai, in a tweet posted on Tuesday, weighed in on the escalating situation, saying a war within the sub-region would be a war between brothers.
“As ECOWAS beats the drums of war, I recall the 1970s rock classic by Dire Straits – ‘Brothers in Arms’, because a war within our subregion is a war between brothers,” el-Rufai tweeted.
“Indeed, the people of Niger Republic are one and the same with those living in Northern Nigeria. Let us bend therefore over backwards to avoid this civil war between brothers.”
TUESDAY THOUGHT: As ECOWAS beats the drums of war, I recall the 1970s rock classic by Dire Straits – ‘Brothers in Arms’, because a war within our subregion is a war between brothers. Indeed, the people of Niger Republic are one and the same with those living in Northern Nigeria.…
— Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai (@elrufai) August 22, 2023
El-Rufai’s passionate appeal for restraint from military intervention echoes sentiments expressed by various stakeholders within Nigeria’s northern region.
The Northern Senators Forum (NSF) had also chimed in, urging President Tinubu to exhaust diplomatic avenues in resolving the crisis. The forum also cautioned that dispatching troops to intervene in the Niger Republic could have severe repercussions on the seven northern states—Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Zamfara, Jigawa, Yobe, and Borno—that share direct borders with the neighboring West African nation.
Following the NSF’s concerns, President Tinubu embarked on a series of critical consultations. He engaged with the governors of five of the concerned states, a strategic move aimed at fostering a comprehensive understanding of the situation and identifying the most optimal approach.
As the crisis continues to unfold, the region and the international community are keeping a watchful eye on ECOWAS’ next steps, with the aim of promoting stability and preventing further escalation in the Niger Republic.