The leader of the military junta in Niger, Abdourahamane Tchiani, has vowed that the country will not rejoin the Economic Community of West African States.
He also vowed that none of the three Sahel nations would rejoin the ECOWAS.
Tchiani stated this on Monday in an interview he granted to the RTN news channel in the country’s capital Niamey.
The military regimes in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger in January, declared their immediate withdrawal from ECOWAS, saying that it was a “sovereign decision” to leave the ECOWAS “without delay”.
They claimed that ECOWAS had become a threat to its member states.
“Eager to achieve integration between the states of the sub-region and driven by the ideals of brotherhood, solidarity, mutual aid, peace and development, their Excellencies General Aboubacar Sangoulé Lamizana, General Moussa Traoré and Lieutenant Colonel Seyni Kountchė, respectively Heads of State of Upper Volta (current Burkina Faso), Mali and Niger, created with 12 of their peers, on May 28, 1975, in Lagos, the Economic Community of West African States.
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“After 49 years of existence, the valiant people of Burkina, Mali and Niger note with much regret, bitterness and great disappointment that their organisation has moved away from the ideals of its founding fathers and pan-Africanism.”
However, the ECOWAS Commission said it was not aware of the withdrawal of the three countries.
It added that “Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali remain important members of the Community and the Authority.”
On the consequences of its withdrawal on security, trade and socio-economic activities, Tchiani said, “Now the world is a global village and is the world within ECOWAS? So, God will feed every human He created.
“We would never release Bazoum. Setting Bazoum free is akin to stabbing ourselves in the stomach which would harm Nigeriens,” he added.