ECOWAS NEED TO TRED CAREFULLY IN NIGER

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The situation in Niger should be handled very carefully by leaders of experience and sincerity. Sudan is in flames and no foreign power has been able to settle the conflict between the two factions and their armed supporters. A country that once stood as a beacon of stability has become fragmented by war in Darfur, South Sudan and now civil war.

Libya also is in shambles. Chad has receded from democratic dispensation. Central African Republic is still unstable. Armed opposition groups are engaged in contestation over state power.

Ecowas cannot become the gendarmerie of the sub-region and the military personnel of the different countries cannot be gendarmes of the sub-region. The role of Ecowas is to give solidarity to the people and states of the sub-region. When there is conflict that undermines state security and the interest of the people, mediation efforts should be initiated and pursued without hesitation.

It is important for the Ecowas heads of state to select mediators of requisite competence to discuss with the military leaders in Niger. If the situation in Niger is not properly handled, external powers will take sides and arm those who will protect their interest so that war will lead to more division of the population.