James Heappey, Minister of State for the Armed Forces in the United Kingdom, says he will work with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to restore democratic rule in Niger Republic.
UK Defence Minister Pledges to Work With ECOWAS to Restore Democracy in Niger
Heappey spoke on Wednesday, August 23, following a meeting with Nigerian defense and military chiefs to discuss the political situation in Niger.
The UK minister met with General Christopher Musa, Chief of Defence Staff; Lt-General Taoreed Lagbaja, Chief of Army Staff; Alhaji Abubakar Badaru, Minister of Defence; and Alhaji Bello Matawalle, Minister of State for Defence.
Heappey also met with the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Touray, and assured him of the UK’s commitment to restoring constitutional order in Niger.
“The UK supports ECOWAS in calling for the peaceful restoration of constitutional order and democracy in Niger and we’ll work with both ECOWAS and our partners across West Africa to support them in that aim,” Heappey said.
He went on to say that the UK recognized Nigeria’s diplomatic efforts to peacefully restore democracy in its northern neighbor.
Heappey said, “The UK and Nigerian armed forces have a longstanding partnership through which we continue to tackle violent extremism and other security threats in West Africa and the Gulf of Guinea.
“We stand with ECOWAS in condemnation of the illegal detention of President Mohamed Bazoum, his family, and members of the government, as well as the unacceptable conditions under which they are being held, and call for their immediate release.”
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