Emily Wright
Mon, Jul 31, 2023 10:05 PM

Former Nigerian Foreign Minister blames South Africa for Niger coup

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Former Nigerian Foreign Minister blames South Africa for Niger coup
Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, accuses South Africa of instigating the African Union to attribute the coup in Niger to the legitimacy of President Bola Tinubu's government. Akinyemi highlights the supposed conflict between ECOWAS and the African Union and suggests that South Africa orchestrated the move to spite Tinubu.

Lagos - Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, has voiced his concern about South Africa's alleged involvement in the accusation that President Bola Tinubu's government is illegitimate in relation to the coup in Niger. In an interview on Monday, Akinyemi suggested that South Africa influenced the African Union's response to the coup, which should have been led by the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS).

Akinyemi emphasized that although the AU and ECOWAS might seem aligned, they are not, stating, "Under the tradition of the African unit, ECOWAS is supposed to take the lead in confronting the issue in Niger, and then the AU will follow up. Instead, the African Union took the lead in responding to the issue in Niger." He believes that South Africa played a role in this decision, aiming to spite President Tinubu.

The former minister referenced a circulating video from a South African television station that implicates Tinubu in the Niger coup. The video claims that the coup occurred due to the contentious nature of Tinubu's election, suggesting his government's illegitimacy. Akinyemi asserts that the African Union's prompt response was intended to embarrass Tinubu.

Drawing a comparison between the response timeframes, Akinyemi argued that South Africa's interference is evident. ECOWAS has imposed a seven-day limit for a reaction, while the African Union provided 15 days. This discrepancy creates a situation in which the Niger regime might exploit the additional time provided by the AU and prioritize its response to the African Union over ECOWAS.

Akinyemi, however, contended that the problem in ECOWAS does not originate from Western countries but is instead instigated by the African Union, influenced by South Africa. He noted that ECOWAS has made decisions on the matter, yet the AU has already set a reaction timeline of 15 days.

The coup in Niger has triggered a diplomatic row between ECOWAS and the African Union, with allegations of hidden motives and political tensions surfacing. Prof. Akinyemi's accusations against South Africa reveal the complex dynamics at play and underscore the need for careful examination of the actions and motivations of regional bodies during times of crisis.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-07-31 News

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