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Foreigners’ safety would be at risk should ECOWAS employ military force – Seidu Abudu

The President of the Ghanaian community in Niger, Seidu Abudu, has revealed that any plans ECOWAS has for using military intervention to address the crisis in the country may pose a risk to foreigners.

Speaking on PM Express on JoyNews, he stated that there has been a widely shared video in Niger where some people are threatening to attack foreigners should the regional bloc approve of a military force in its attempt to restore constitutional rule.

Mr Abudu noted that he does not believe that ECOWAS will use military force, putting the lives of their citizens at risk.

“All the ECOWAS countries have foreigners here, so if they use force, what about their citizens here? It is going to be a problem, it is not going to help at all. We foreigners who are living here already, we have seen one video, they said that if ECOWAS makes any one move, they are going to attack foreigners and that one is for sure,” he noted.

Mr Abudu added that “so, they (ECOWAS) have to be very careful about the move they want to make because they are going to attack foreigners in this country. They are not going to allow foreigners to live in this country as ECOWAS is going to use force, so they have to be very careful.”

This follows the West African regional bloc’s decision to assemble a standby force while working on other diplomatic means to resolve the crisis in Niger.

Already some countries including Ivory Coast have agreed to provide troops for the force. However, some leaders of countries like Nigeria and Ghana are facing criticisms from the opposition who do not approve of the use of a military intervention.

Reacting to ECOWAS’ decision to assemble a force, security analyst Rtd Colonel Festus Aboagye said that the bloc may take a while to deploy a military force to Niger in its attempt to restore constitutional rule.

He explained that a standby force relies on contributions from member states adding that some countries do not have enough troops or assets to provide.

Meanwhile, since the inception of the coup, Mr Abudu said that Ghanaians living in the now military run state are safe adding there has so far been no threat on anyone.

“Right now Niger is calm, there hasn’t been any fear, and everything is normal, we have some Ghanaians here, roughly 400 to 500 people. So we are trying as a community…our main duty is to protect Ghanaians living here, so we are engaging the Ghana embassy here,” he stated.

Soldiers in the West African country of Niger announced a coup on national TV, on July 27.

They said they had dissolved the constitution, suspended all institutions and closed the nation’s borders.

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