ECOWAS: A chance to pursue peace rather than conflict

ECOWAS - Rapid News GH

It is not a secret that the beleaguered Nigerien junta reportedly said that former President Bazoum would die as the first casualty in the event of an ECOWAS military assault to overthrow them.

Despite the constitutional illegality of their armed takeover, the coupists do indeed seem stoic in their resistance. Therefore, it could be argued that ECOWAS is at least partially justified in attempting to restore constitutional order by other means.

But this prompts the following inquiries: Which new leader would ECOWAS appoint as President if the junta were to be successfully overthrown? And will this new leader have the backing of the people, who are tired of the oppressive French influence on their nation?

Furthermore, on whose forces would ECOWAS rely to continue the fight against the jihadists after defeating the Nigerian army? French people? Wagner? U.S. citizens? Or the thousands of angry Nigerien citizens who have lost loved ones to terrorist attacks over the years?

The value of any additional military engagement by ECOWAS is still debatable given how thin West African countries’ military logistics and people are.

The Accra Initiative is just one of the accords that have already been hampered by the lack of resources (and political will) from individual member nations.

While maintaining democracy is unquestionably a good and crucial objective, one wonders how the limited ECOWAS forces would handle military resistance from the many fronts of Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Wagner, as well as the Nigeriens themselves.

Although prior military operations in Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Guinea Bissau, and the Gambia were all successful, it must be emphasized that the dynamics of the current Sahelian crisis are a little bit different.

And one hopes that ECOWAS will not continue to be tone-deaf to the unpopularity of the potential of another war in Africa in light of the many voices throughout the region urging moderation.

But more crucially, ECOWAS forces might become mired in a protracted conflict that drags on for a very long time.

Military operations that lingered on and on, spending more and more, and going much beyond what military chiefs had anticipated are numerous in history.

Russia is currently mired in a protracted military invasion of Ukraine that has not exactly gone as planned.


Prior to that, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq served as sobering reminders to the cautious that nothing in battle is ever simple, particularly when the underdog has nothing to lose.

West Africa’s future is not promising given the stoic, unyielding stance on both sides. But enough banging of swords. Ghana, for instance, can, in my opinion, play the role of the adult in the room by forcing all of the main players to the bargaining table.

Although this situation’s intricate geopolitics necessitate careful negotiating by mediators, a non-military solution is undoubtedly feasible.

On behalf of all the nations in the entire sub-region, this non-military option is a pressing necessity. It is not an option to have a war with no winners. The whole world is looking.

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