United Kingdom’s Minister of State for the Armed Forces, James Heappey, says he will collaborate with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to restore democratic rule in Niger Republic.
Heappey spoke on Wednesday, August 23 after a meeting with defence and military chiefs in Nigeria to discuss the political situation in Niger.
The UK minister met with Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa; Chief of Army Staff, Lt-General Taoreed Lagbaja; Minister of Defence, Alahaji Abubakar Badaru; and Minister of State for Defence, Alhaji Bello Matawalle.
Heappey also met with President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Touray, and assured him that the UK would give its support to ensure that constitutional order returned to 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 added that the UK recognised Nigeria’s diplomatic mediation efforts to peacefully restore democracy in its northern neighbour.
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.”