Halifa Sallah

Veteran Gambian politician Halifa Sallah has rejected a move by the regional bloc, Ecowas, to use military force in Niger. 

The leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) have threatened to use a military force against Niger coup plotters if they fail to reinstate the democratically-elected president Mohammed Bazzoum within seven days. 

But Mali and Burkina Faso military juntas h issued a warning against the regional bloc that any military attack against Niger would amount to declaring war against them.

However, speaking at a news conference, Halifa Sallah said: “By now we should have been inspiring each other to know which country is more democratic. Essentially, the actions of Ecowas is what the protocols remain. That’s what you implement. But the question is will use of force ultimately change what is happening in Niger? They must have experts looking at it. What happened in the Gambia was not just an ordinary Ecowas force threatening to come and use force. That was not the situation.”

“The Gambia is different from every other country and each country has a situation that should be understood because the objective is not just to act for the sake of acting, but the objective is to achieve [results].

“So, in short it is important for the Ecowas itself not to be adventuring. They must look at the situation, the position of the Nigerien people, what is their mindset, how do they see the situation. Because you cannot go into a local situation that’s supported by the local population and then expect that you can score a military victory. Whenever there is military victory anywhere it must be supported by the local population,” he added.

He urged Ecowas leaders to use diplomatic means in solving the political crisis  in Niger and other countries within the region than opting for military force in addressing suc problems.

Reporting by Adama Makasuba 

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