The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has rejected the three-year power transition plan put forward by the Niger junta.
Abdel-Fatau Musa, ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security, revealed this stance during an interview with the BBC on Sunday.
In a televised address on Saturday night, General Abdourahamane Tchiani, the leader of the Niger junta, had announced the army’s intention to transfer power to the civilian government over the next three years.
However, during the interview, Abdel-Fatau Musa characterized General Tchiani’s proposal as merely a guise for engaging in discussions and diplomatic efforts.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Musah also added that the “military aspect is very much on”.
Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), former Military Head of State, led an ECOWAS delegation to Niger on Saturday in a final diplomatic visit to find a peaceful resolution with the Niger junta.
The delegation held talks with Prime Minister Ali Lamine Zeine upon their arrival at the airport, proceeding to the presidential palace under his guidance.
Following this, discussions were held with both the ousted Nigerien President, Mohamed Bazoum, and General Abdourahamane Tchiani, the head of the junta.
This marked the first instance in which Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar led peace negotiations that prompted ECOWAS to activate its standby force.
Notably, the Niger junta has disregarded the ultimatum demanding the reinstatement of President Mohamed Bazoum.