The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Dean of the Cabinet, Amb. Dee-Maxwell Saah, Sr., has in the strongest terms condemned the military coup in the Republic of Niger, restating Liberia’s position of zero tolerance for unconstitutional changes of government.
Representing Liberia’s President, His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah, the Minister’s message was contained in a Statement for the Extraordinary Summit of the Authority of ECOWAS Council Heads of State and Government on July 30, 2023, in Abuja, Nigeria.
According to a dispatch from the Embassy of Liberia in Abuja, Nigeria, the Foreign Minister’s Speech on behalf of the President of Liberia expressed extreme shock over the news of the coup d’état in Niger. Foreign Minister Kemayah said the news was broke in Liberia when His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia, Officials of the Government of Liberia, Visiting Presidents from ECOWAS Member States, in persons of H.E. Mr. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana, and H.E. Mr. Adama Barrow, President of the Republic of The Gambia, the Doyen and Dean and Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps in Liberia; respectively, the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Liberia and Representatives of International Organizations and the entire Liberian nation, were attending the formal program, commemorating the 176th Independence Anniversary of the Republic of Liberia on July 26, 2023.
The Liberian Foreign Minister described the coup as disturbing, sad, and calamitous news with the utmost disdain and great consternation as another anticlimax of constitutional democracy in our ECOWAS region.
“The Government of the Republic of Liberia, therefore, categorically condemns in the strongest terms possible this unlawful, illegal, and unconstitutional action perpetrated by some elements of the Army of Niger and considers it an affront to the democratic will of the fraternal people of Niger, who chose their leaders in a democratic process, and an open defiance of the overarching resolve and stance of ECOWAS in opposing any form of ascendency to power through constitutional and undemocratic means.”
Foreign Minister said that the Government of the Republic of Liberia fully supports and asks the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, the African Union, the United Nations, and the International Community, in support and defense of democracy, constitutional order, and international rule-based order, to leave no stone unturned in putting as much pressure as possible on the Military Leaders in Niger and make sure that, said Military Junta in Niger unconstitutional.
Minister Kemayah said Liberia fully aligns itself with the respective positions of the Economic Community of West African States, the African Union, the United Nations, and all friendly democratic governments in condemning the unpalatable coup in Niger.
“Liberia wishes to make it unequivocally clear that it strongly opposes any act of unconstitutional change of government while reiterating its absolute zero tolerance to all forms of undemocratic means of ascending to State power.”
He said Liberia resolutely believes that in order to discourage any act of unconstitutional ascendency to state power in our ECOWAS sub-region or any other sub-region for that matter, an ECOWAS or the relevant sub-regional organization, the African Union, the United Nations, and/or international coalition-based concerted stronger, more forceful, and clear action must be taken against perpetrators beyond the usual imposition of sanctions and isolation of the putschists, which seems to be ignored and ineffective to a large extent.
“Hence, Liberia welcomes, extols, and fully supports the pronouncement of His Excellency President Tinubu of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Chair of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, in support and defense of democracy and constitutional order, and to be tough and uncompromising with perpetrators of unconstitutional and undemocratic actions. His Excellency President Chairman Tinubu made the impactful pronouncement on Sunday, July 9, 2023, at the last ECOWAS Summit in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau, when he assumed the Chairmanship of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government.”
The Liberian diplomat further recognized and congratulated the great, patriotic, peace-loving, and democratic people of Niger for their profound courage, resilience, determination, support, empathy, and solidarity with democracy, constitutional order, and the rule of law, and urged them to remain steadfast in supporting democracy and the urgent return to constitutional order and the rule of law in Niger.
Minister Kemayah said putschists and the so-called National Council for Safeguarding the Homeland (CNSP), which claims to be in charge of Niger, are incohesive, lack vision, and completely fall short of having a coordinated plan for advancing their selfish efforts and desires.”
“Liberia lauds His Excellency President Tinubu, the astute Chair of our Community, for his leadership and pro-activeness in dispatching a High-Level ECOWAS Delegation to Niger following the announcement of the coup d’état and supports His Excellency President Chairman Tinubu’s appointment of a Special Envoy on Niger.”
The chief diplomat said that Liberia wants to include in the Final Communiqué of today’s Extraordinary Session of this July 30, 2023 Summit of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government the sending of a High-Level ECOWAS Delegation, including, but not limited to, Chiefs of Defense Staff and/or Chiefs of Staff of Armed Forces, to Niger to make it clear to the Military Junta or Coup Plotters in Niger what will happen if
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Kemayah met and discussed with Honorable Michael G. Heath, Deputy Assistant Secretary for West Africa and the Sahel of the United States Department, President Weah’s unequivocal assurance to the Liberian People and the World in general for the conduct of free, fair, transparent, peaceful, inclusive, credible, and democratic elections on October 10, 2023.
“Liberia, therefore, looks forward to the partnership of ECOWAS in fully supporting its electoral process, which will meaningfully contribute to the consolidation of democracy in our region,” Minister Kemayah said.
Minister Kemayah also reiterated Liberia’s message of Liberia’s zero-tolerance for coups and strong posture on free and fair elections in Liberia’s pending general elections to the Honorable Michael G. Heath, the United States Department of State’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for West Africa and the Sahel, at a meeting in Abuja on the sidelines of the Abuja Summit on Niger.
In response, Deputy Secretary Heath thanked Minister Kemayah for the detailed briefing and said the United States would like to see a peaceful resolution of the impasse in Niger. He also expressed the United States’ best wishes for Liberia’s forthcoming elections. “We hope to see the clear will of the Liberian electorates and the tabulation of the results by electoral districts,” the Secretary suggested. Deputy Secretary Heath accepted Minister Kemayah’s invitation to visit Liberia soon.
Meanwhile, in a strongly worded Communiqué, the ECOWAS Authority has, among other things, threatened to take military action against the junta in Niger if it does not comply with its provision for peaceful settlement.