On Monday 11 December 2023, a delegation of seven (07) women from the Republic of Niger paid a courtesy call on the Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Amb. Dr. Abdel Fatau MUSAH, at Niger House, ECOWAS Annex in Abuja, Nigeria.
The Women delegation led by Madame Ibrahim Mariam AL NASSER, former Minister of Labour and Civil Service included Dr Saade Souleye, a medical doctor and public health advocate, Madame Laoula Aissata Bintou of the Committee of Women Political Mentors, Dr Moussa Fatimata, former Minister of Public Health, Madame Barry Bibata, a lawyer at the Niamey Bar and former minister, and Madame Ahmed Mariame Musah, a civil society leader.
The Women expressed their gratitude to the Commissioner for granting them the opportunity to meet and discuss the current political crisis and the impact of the sanctions imposed by ECOWAS on Niger following the event of 26 July 2023. They bemoaned the humanitarian impact of the sanctions, which has brought untold hardship on the socio-economic life of the people of Niger, particularly on women and children.
On his part, Amb. Abdel-Fatau Musah expressed his regret about the impact of the sanctions on the civilian population which is a direct consequence of the undemocratic seizure of power by the military. He added that despite numerous attempts by ECOWAS to engage in dialogue, the military authorities have proved inflexible and continue to hold former President Mohamed BAZOUM, members of his family and several members of his government hostage. The Commissioner, however assured the delegation about ECOWAS commitment to support the country in the peaceful resolution of the crisis as decided during the 64th Ordinary Summit of the Authority of Heads of State and Government held on 10 December 2023 in Abuja, Nigeria.
The Authority at the summit set up a Committee of Heads of State made up of H.E. Faure Gnassingbé, President of the Togolese Republic, H.E. Julius Maada Bio, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, and Representatives of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the President of the Republic of Benin to engage with the Niger military regime and other stakeholders, to agree on a short transition roadmap, establish transition organs, as well as facilitate the setting up of a transition monitoring and evaluation mechanism towards the speedy restoration of constitutional order.
The Women delegation called on ECOWAS to deepen the dialogue with all strata of the Nigerien society and expressed a strong desire to see ECOWAS include women in the dialogue and mediation efforts towards the resolution of the crisis in Niger.
They further called on ECOWAS to expedite the review process of the Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance taking into consideration the current realities. They particularly pleaded with ECOWAS to consider the review of the sanctions regime, which have a negative impact on the entire socio-economic fabric of the society with its attendant humanitarian crisis.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).