Nigerian residents in Niger Republic have urged the Federal Government to facilitate their safe return home, fearing potential clashes between Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) forces and coup plotters seeking to restore constitutional governance. The residents fear being caught in the crossfire, similar to the situation in Sudan where Nigerian students were trapped during clashes between government forces and rebels. Concerns also arise from potential xenophobic attacks by Nigeriens due to Nigeria’s support for rejecting the unconstitutional change of government. ECOWAS has resolved to deploy a “standby force” to restore democracy, although details of the deployment remain undisclosed. The situation has led to tension among Nigerians in Niger Republic, prompting appeals for careful consideration of the potential consequences. Evacuation plans are being evaluated by Nigerian authorities.
ECOWAS Military Chiefs Convene as Russia Warns Against Military Intervention
West African military chiefs are set to meet in Ghana to discuss implementing ECOWAS resolutions regarding the crisis in Niger Republic. The standby force’s deployment is part of efforts to restore the deposed president, Mohamed Bazoum. Amidst these developments, Russia has issued a warning against military intervention, expressing concerns about potential destabilization in the Sahara-Sahel region. The ECOWAS legislative arm is also engaging in diplomatic discussions to address the crisis.
Evacuation Plans Under Consideration, NEMA and NiDCOM Respond
The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) have acknowledged the potential need for evacuation but have not initiated the process as of now. NiDCOM spokesperson Abdur-Rahman Balogun stated that evacuation would be considered if the situation escalated, while NEMA Director-General Mustapha Habib confirmed the willingness to repatriate Nigerians stranded in Niger Republic if necessary. Evacuation efforts by other countries, such as France and Italy, have already commenced.
Residents Express Concerns and Appeal for Caution
Nigerian residents in Niger Republic have expressed growing concerns about their safety and well-being amidst the crisis. Some have reported feeling unwelcome due to Nigeria’s stance on the issue and fear potential repercussions. Others have cited economic challenges, border closures, and scarcity of essential commodities as additional hardships. As tensions rise, residents are urging the Nigerian government and ECOWAS to consider diplomatic solutions before resorting to military intervention.
ECOWAS Military Chiefs Meeting, Russia’s Warning, and Diplomatic Efforts
ECOWAS military chiefs are convening to discuss the implementation of the standby force deployment in Niger Republic. Russia has cautioned against a military solution, emphasizing the potential for prolonged conflict and regional destabilization. Meanwhile, diplomatic efforts are being pursued by the ECOWAS legislative arm to address the crisis. The situation remains tense, and stakeholders are evaluating options to restore stability while minimizing the risk to residents.