If the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) sends troops to Niger to tackle the coup makers, it will suffer a catastrophic failure, a Security Expert Colonel Festus Aboagye (Rtd) has said.
Col Aboagye rather wants ECOWAS to dialogue with them as part of moves to get the country back to democratic rule.
Speaking on the Ghana Tonight show on TV3 Monday, August 7, he said, “The initial ECOWAS attempt didn’t succeed without too much fighting, because the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland is able to mobilize public opinion and resist the pressure from ECOWAS, the AU, and the international community. So they remain in power. ECOWAS is left with no other option than to find a way of engaging with them, because if they pursue that they might suffer some catastrophic failure.”
He therefore urged ECOWAS leaders to shy away from a military intervention in Niger.
Builsa North Member of Parliament James Agalga also reminded the government of Ghana that deploying troops to another country amounts to declaring war on that country. Therefore, if the decision is taken by the ECOWAS to deploy troops to Niger to restore democracy following the coup that took place, Ghana must seek parliamentary approval before contributing to the troops to support ECOWAS.
Mr. Agalga, who is a ranking member on the Defense and Interior Committee of Parliament requested the Minister of Defence to table any plan by the government to contribute the troops in Parliament for a thorough debate and approval or otherwise.
ECOWAS is expected to hold a summit in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, on Thursday to discuss the crisis in Niger following a military coup.
This was after it gave the coup makers seven days to restore the country to democracy and reinstate the elected president or face the possibility of military intervention.
However, the deadline passed on Sunday with no change to the situation.
A delegation from the military governments of Mali and Burkina Faso is on its way to Niger to express solidarity with the junta.
Speaking on News 360 on TV3 Monday, August 7 while commenting on the situation in Niger, Mr Agalga said the issue has “definitely engaged the attention of the committee but you must remember that we have not gotten to the point where Ghana as a country has so far committed to deploying ECOWAS troops in Niger even though the authorities of heads of state and government of ECOWAS have issued an ultimatum.
“Now, the ultimatum has expired and so we are waiting for the next step to be taken then we can insist that certain things are done in accordance with our practices and procedures.
“If Ghana has to deploy troops to Niger as part of its contribution to the ECOWAS force, we would expect that parliamentary approval will be sought.”
The former Deputy Minister for the Interior added “I have raised issues in the past where Ghana committed to contribute troops to Ecowas mission in The Gambia which sought to remove Yahya Jammeh at the time when he refused to step down after losing to Adama Barrow in an election. Ghana actually contributed to the troops alongside Nigeria and Senegal but the deployment actually happened before the Defence Minister appeared before Parliament and made a statement indicating that Ghaha had actually contributed a certain number of troops to ECOWAS mission in The Gambia.
“We actually had serious problems with that approach, we insisted that if we deploy troops, whether they are part of ECOWAS or not, it amounts to a declaration of war so we would expect that the matter is tabled before Parliament, it is thoroughly debated and if Parliament clears our government to deploy troops we can then go ahead and deploy. Anything short of that will be illegal.”