In his statement, Minister Saah-Kemayah conveyed President Weah’s deep regret for being unable to attend the summit due to prior national commitments. He extended gratitude to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu of Nigeria, the Chairperson of the ECOWAS Authority, for the warm hospitality extended to Liberia’s delegation.
The Minister strongly condemned the Nigerien junta’s actions, including its refusal to cooperate with diplomatic efforts, orchestration of support for the illegal coup, and seeking military assistance from the Wagner Group of the Russian Federation. Liberia shared concerns that these actions threatened regional peace and security.
“As the leader of a post-conflict State in which many diplomatic and military interventions took place to resolve the Liberian conflict, President Weah has directed that I declare Liberia’s strong support for the measures announced by the ECOWAS Authority at its first Extraordinary Summit on Niger, and a careful review of the results all actions and decisions to date, including exhausting all possible avenues of preventing diplomacy with the military junta of Niger, Min. Kemayah stated.
Minister Saah-Kemayah affirmed Liberia’s unwavering support for ECOWAS decisions, which included condemning the coup, demanding the immediate release of the democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum, and restoring constitutional order in Niger. The Minister emphasized Liberia’s stance against any unconstitutional change of government and its commitment to democratic principles.
“Liberia wishes to make it unequivocally clear, that it strongly opposes any act of Unconstitutional Change of Government, while reiterating its zero tolerance to all forms of undemocratic means of ascending to power,” he stated.
Furthermore, Liberia proposed that ECOWAS enhance public diplomacy through a clear communication strategy to disseminate information about its decisions and engagements, emphasizing that these actions are those of ECOWAS as a whole and not solely the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Summit, attended by ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, representatives from various nations, and international organizations, culminated in a final communique. The communique reasserted ECOWAS’ condemnation of the coup, outlined measures to restore constitutional order in Niger, and called on partner countries and institutions to support ECOWAS’ efforts.
The primary focus of the summit was the continued illegal detention of President Mohamed Bazoum by the members of the Presidential Guard in Niger, following the attempted coup d’état on July 26, 2023. The summit underscored the gravity of the situation and took decisive measures to address the crisis.
The final communique of the summit highlights the following key points:
The Authority unequivocally condemned the attempted coup and the unlawful detention of President Bazoum, his family, and members of his government. The summit laid the responsibility for President Bazoum’s safety and security squarely on the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP), the group responsible for the coup.
The summit reiterated its commitment to the measures and principles outlined in the previous extraordinary summit held on July 30, 2023. These measures included diplomatic efforts and negotiations to restore constitutional order.
ECOWAS has decided to enforce strict measures, including border closures, travel bans, and asset freezes, against individuals or groups hindering peaceful efforts to restore constitutional order in Niger. This move aims to increase pressure on those responsible for the ongoing crisis.
The summit issued a stern warning to member states that any actions directly or indirectly obstructing the peaceful resolution of the Niger crisis would have consequences within the ECOWAS community.
ECOWAS called on the African Union and other international partners, including the United Nations, to endorse its decisions and support efforts to restore constitutional order in Niger.
The summit ordered the immediate activation and deployment of the ECOWAS Standby Force to restore constitutional order in Niger. This deployment signals ECOWAS’s unwavering commitment to resolving the crisis and maintaining stability in the region.
The summit expressed appreciation to individuals and entities that have undertaken special envoy missions on behalf of the ECOWAS Authority, including General Abdulsalami A. Abubakar, His Eminence Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, and Ambassador Babagana Kingibe.
The summit recognized President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s leadership and the manner in which he has guided the affairs of the ECOWAS community during this critical time.