A peacebuilding think tank, Foundation for Peace Professionals, also known as PeacePro, has expressed delight at the news of the proposed dialogue between the leadership of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the military authorities in Niger Republic.
PeacePro also commended the Islamic Ulama, who facilitated the possibility of this amicable resolution to the crisis.
The Executive Director of PeacePro, Abdulrazaq Hamzat, made the position of the organisation known while reacting to the latest development regarding the crisis in Niger Republic.
“I am excited over the latest development in Niger Republic, which has made dialogue a tool for resolution, and I commend the Islamic Ulama’s who made this possible”.
Hamzat, also a former ambassador to the International Human Rights Commission, explained that the past miscommunication should be left in the past and the new opportunity for peaceful resolution should be warmly embraced.
He urged ECOWAS to treat Nigerian military authorities respectfully and resolve the crisis using the regional body’s conflict resolution mechanism.
Meanwhile, Niger’s coup leader, Abdourahmane Tchiani, has offered explanations for refusing to meet an ECOWAS delegation led by former Nigerian military leader Abdulsalami Abubakar.
According to a statement signed by an Islamic scholar, Bala Lau, who led a team of Nigerian Islamic scholars to meet with the coup leader in Niamey, Tchiani said they were angry about the ECOWAS ultimatum at the time.
He, however, apologised for his action, noting that the junta’s doors are open to exploring diplomacy and peace in resolving the matter.
The West African nation has been in a constitutional imbroglio since Mohamed Bazoum was ousted as the president by the military.
Attempts by ECOWAS to forcefully eject the military from the presidential palace have been met with stiff resistance, with Mali and Burkina Faso threatening to defend the Niger junta.
ECOWAS has since soft-pedalled on its rigid stance and sent a delegation of Islamic scholars to meet with the junta.