Pope Francis, the leader of the Vatican, has made a plea for peace while the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) under the guidance of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has rejected the three-year power transition plan proposed by the Niger junta.
During an interview with the BBC on Sunday, ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Abdel-Fatau Musah, expressed that the transition plan put forward by the military junta led by Abdourahmane Tchiani in the Niger Republic is not acceptable to ECOWAS.
On Saturday, Tchiani stated that he would step down from power within three years and issued a warning that any foreign intervention would not be an easy task.
He stated in a televised address broadcast by Tele Sahel:
“Our ambition is not to confiscate power. Transition period will not exceed three years; meanwhile, political parties are urged to submit their vision for the transition within 30 days.
“There’s availability for any dialogue, provided that it takes into account the aspirations of the people of Niger. However, any intervention will open a Pandora’s Box and will not be a walk in the park.”
His warning followed the arrival of an ECOWAS delegation in the country for a dialogue before deciding on military intervention against the junta.
But in the interview, Musah said the junta must hand over in the shortest possible time.
“Ecowas is not accepting any prolonged transition again in the region. They just have to get ready to hand over in the shortest possible time.
“Military aspect is very much on. The earlier they give power back to civilians and concentrate on their primary responsibility that is defending the territorial integrity of Niger, the better for them.”
Meanwhile, speaking Pope Francis released a message from the Vatican during his Sunday Service sermon.
The head of Catholics worldwide called for peace in the Republic of Niger and urged all parties involved to resort to a peaceful resolution.
Speaking at the St. Peter’s Square, he said:
“I join with prayer the efforts of the international community to find a peaceful solution as soon as possible for the good of everyone.”