ALGIERS – Saturday, 26 August 2023 (APS) – Algeria’s approach to a peaceful solution to the crisis in Niger was endorsed during the visits made by Minister of Foreign Affairs and National Community Abroad, Ahmed Attaf to Nigeria, Benin and Ghana, to restore constitutional order in this country in crisis and preserve its security and stability, and that of the region.
Tasked by the President of the Republic, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, Attaf began a diplomatic tour on Wednesday to the three member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), to hold consultations with his counterparts and contribute to a political solution that will spare Niger and the entire region “the fallout from a possible escalation of the situation.”
At the end of his meetings with the foreign ministers and presidents, Attaf affirmed that the restoration of constitutional order in Niger is a “common goal” of Algeria and these countries, which “are currently in the process of seeking a political solution” to the Niger crisis.
“Within ECOWAS, as in Algeria, we are working along the same lines, coordinating our efforts as much as possible to achieve a common objective, which is the restoration of constitutional order in Niger,” Attaf told the press, stressing that for Algeria, the use of force “has always been a source of complication and not a solution.”
In Nigeria, the FM’s first stop, discussions focused on the need to coordinate efforts between the two countries, particularly the initiatives launched by Abdelmadjid Tebboune and his counterpart, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in his capacity as current Chairman of ECOWAS, with a view to “supporting the peaceful political process for resolving the crisis in Niger.”
“We affirmed that Algeria and Nigeria (…) have no choice but to work together to prevent the situation in Niger, in the region and on the African continent as a whole from worsening”, Attaf said, expressing his “categorical rejection of any violation of democracy and constitutional order in Niger”.
“The preservation of the security, stability and prosperity of the people of Niger requires greater individual and collective efforts and sacrifices”, stressed Attaf, assuring that “every effort will be made to ensure that a peaceful and political solution to the crisis in Niger prevails.
Algiers, Cotonou agree on solution to Niger crisis
Attaf said that President Tebboune, “who firmly believes that the way is still open to achieve this noble objective, has drawn up a clear vision for resolving this crisis and advocated its content, principles and mechanisms.”
This solution guarantees “full respect for the African legal framework which prohibits and rejects unconstitutional changes of government, and ensures a return to constitutional order in Niger,” he explained.
In Cotonou, Benin’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Olushegun Adjadi Bakari, underlined “the convergence of views between Algeria and ECOWAS, and therefore between Algeria and Benin,” on the Niger crisis.
He said he shared “this commitment to accession to the presidency of the country through the ballot box and not by force of arms.
“We also share the opinion that unconstitutional military regimes cannot be allowed to flourish in the region,” he continued.
“Therefore, we are going to work together so that the goals set by Presidents Abdelmadjid Tebboune and Patrice Talon (of Benin) about Niger can materialize as quickly as possible,” said the same official.
In this regard, “both parties affirmed their commitment to the legal rules of the African Union (AU), established at the 1999 summit of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in Algiers, aimed at dealing with the scourge of unconstitutional changes of government.”
Attaf ended his tour Saturday with a visit to Accra, the capital of Ghana, where he was received by President Nana Akufo-Addo, “to whom he conveyed the greetings of his brother President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, as well as his message concerning the crisis in Niger and the prospects for intensifying and unifying efforts to promote the foundations of a peaceful settlement to spare this country and the countries of the region the impact of a possible escalation of the situation.”
For his part, Nana Akufo-Addo hailed the “important role” of his Algerian counterpart and his “commendable efforts” to effectively contribute to ending the crisis in Niger.
Italy’s FM, Antonio Tajani affirmed that his country’s government “supports” and “warmly welcomes” President Tebboune’s initiative to ensure that the logic of a political solution to the Niger crisis prevails, by sending emissaries to Niger and the ECOWAS countries.
During phone talks with Attaf, Tajani indicated that “Italy fully shares Algeria’s concern about the repercussions of the use of force”, expressing “his country’s readiness to support Algeria’s efforts and steps aimed at calming the situation and working towards a return to constitutional order in Niger by peaceful means”.