AFRICA/GHANA - "The diplomatic path must be pursued" Ghanaian bishops also oppose military intervention in Niger

Friday, 25 August 2023 bishops   coup   peace  

Accra (Agenzia Fides) - "No to military intervention under the aegis of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS/CEDEAO)". The Bishops of Ghana also express their opposition to a possible military intervention against the military junta that took power in Niger on July 26. In the statement released yesterday, August 24, and signed by Msgr. Matthew Kwasi Gyamfi, Bishop of Sunyani and President of the Ghana Bishops' Conference (GCBC), it is stated: "It is the position of the Conference that the idea of an ECOWAS military intervention for the restoration of constitutional regime in Niger should not even be contemplated".
The GCBC points out that "Mali and Burkina Faso have dispatched warplanes to Niger in response to a potential military intervention by ECOWAS". These two countries, led by putschist juntas, have indeed declared that any military action against the putschists in Niamey would be considered a declaration of war against them. "Moreover – recall the Bishops of Ghana - Burkina Faso has threatened to withdraw from ECOWAS if the bloc intervenes militarily in Niger".
"In line with the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ (cf. John 14:27), we, as a Conference, are opposed to any military intervention against the coup makers in Niger, as this will exacerbate the already precarious situation in that country where civilians such as women, children, aged, weak and vulnerable in society are bearing the biggest brunt of the chaotic situation", says GCBC. "It is the position of the Conference that ECOWAS and its leaders should explore diplomacy in handling the situation. This will require further engagements with the coup leaders to discuss a concrete roadmap for the situation. The Conference is confident that this approach will enable all parties and the mediators to speedily design long-lasting solutions to the situation in Niger", the statement concludes.
The position against the military action in Niger of the Episcopal Conference of Ghana joins that of the Regional Episcopal Conference of West Africa (RECOWA - see Fides, 10/8/2023), the Episcopal Conferences of Nigeria, Niger and Burkina Faso (see Fides, 7/8/2023) and the bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of Ibadan (in Nigeria - see Fides, 22/8/2023). (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 25/8/2023)