Africans Rising for Unity, Justice, Peace and Dignity, a Pan-African movement of people and organisations working for unity, justice, peace and dignity in Africa has called on African Union (AU) and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to commence constructive engagement with all relevant actors in Niger political crisis so as to maintain peace and stability in the trouble country.
The group however disagreed with the planned invasion of the country by ECOWAS force, insisting that this would only lead to death of many civilians.
In a statement issued on the crisis, Africans Rising said it is “opposed to military take-over of political power and hereby denounces the actions by Niger’s military to seize power through a coup d’etat and suspend the constitution.”
The statement read: “We call on the military officers to allow a peaceful resolution to the stalemate, return the country to civilian rule and restore constitutional order in Niger.
“We also urge international and regional bodies such as ECOWAS and African Union to begin constructive engagement with all relevant actors to maintain peace and stability. In this light, we disagree with the threats of military intervention by ECOWAS member states as such an action would only lead to death of innocent people and destruction of the country.
“In the same vein, proposed sanctions must not further burden the already impoverished population.”
The group said: “ECOWAS and the AU must be more proactive in dealing with crises within the region and across Africa rather than reacting to situations after they deteriorate.
“In a span of three years, the West Africa region has been rocked by four coups d’état, Niger being the latest to join Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali. At the same time, we are witnessing increasing threats to civil liberties, wanton corruption, and outright state capture in many other countries.
“Without addressing the root causes of instability, we cannot have sustainable solutions. This calls for a more comprehensive approach to the social, economic and political environment that puts the needs of African citizens at the centre.
“We must resist any moves that will make West Africa or any part of Africa the theater of war by proxy between competing powers. It is very important for external powers from West and East to steer clear of Africa’s internal affairs and desist from making reckless statements hinting at military action. We will not tolerate any such rhetoric. Africa is not the extension of any other country or continent.”
The group stated that: “We face neither East nor West. We face forward”.