Niger sanctions will be lifted if… – ECOWAS Speaker

Niger sanctions will be lifted if…– ECOWAS Speaker

The Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament, Mr Sidie Tunis, says the sanctions on Niger Republic will be lifted if the junta releases President Mohamed Bazoum.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Speaker gave the assurance when a 19-man delegation from Africans Without Borders paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.

The visit was to prevail on the parliament to support the lifting of sanctions on Niger to ease the suffering of ordinary people in that country.

The speaker tasked the delegation to prevail on the junta to unconditionally release Bazoum and his family and set a short transition to returning the country to constitutional governance.

Tunis said that despite several efforts made by the bloc, there has been no breakthrough since the military junta ousted the democratically elected government in Niger.

“We are more interested in what is happening in Niger; we have sent a delegation to investigate the situation after the military coup, but we need you as citizens to help lessen the effect with your intervention as well.

“We represent you as Members of the ECOWAS Parliament; citizens diplomacy is, in my opinion, the best form of diplomacy that, if used well, can solve a whole lot of problems, not only in this sub-region but in the entire continent of Africa.

“As Members of Parliament, we are all concerned about the situation in Niger, and I must tell you, immediately after the coup in Niger happened, we formed a committee to go and look at the situation of things in that country.

“At the moment, there has not been a breakthrough, but we believe that a group like this will be in a position to also help the situation,” he added.

Tunis assured that the ECOWAS would continue to be on the side of the people of Niger.

“We are for the people of Niger, and we will continue to support the people of Niger. I can assure you that we are with the people of Niger.

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“I want to give you a message to the leadership of Niger to clearly show us some goodwill, and I can assure you that this sanction will be lifted.

“Take this message to the military leadership of Niger and tell them that we are with the good people of Niger; release President Mohamed Bazoum and his family,” the speaker said.

Tunis said they were not asking for the reinstatement of President Bazoum, but for his unconditional release from the military detention at the presidential palace.

Speaking earlier, the President of Africa Without Borders, Mr Ziwana Abdounahamane, said that the sanctions have negatively affected the citizens of Niger and neighbouring countries.

He added that they were grateful to ECOWAS contributions to Niger and would not disregard the benefits enjoyed so far.

Abdounahamane prayed that the region would stay strong and together despite the recent hard times.

“But we are talking about the masses that are facing dire situations and our citizens’ hard livelihood in Niger.

“So we are here, Hon. Speaker, as the African movement, so that you will know the hard situation that the citizens of ECOWAS are facing. We thank you for the audience given to us,’’ he said.

NAN reports that the Mouvement Afrique sans Frontiere (African without Borders) is made up of the 16 countries that make up the ECOWAS bloc.

These are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissua, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo. (NAN)

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