Any Military Move in Niger to “exacerbate already precarious situation”: Ghana’s Bishops

Members of the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference (GCBC). Credit: Catholic Trends

Any military move against those behind Niger’s July 26 military coup that ousted President Mohamed Bazoum from power will worsen the “already precarious situation” of the West African nation, members of the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference (GCBC) have said.

In their Thursday, August 24 statement shared with ACI Africa, GCBC members fault the threats that officials Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have been making to invade Niger militarily, and advocate for the application of “diplomacy in handling the situation.”

“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,” GCBC members say.

They add that “it is the position of the Conference that ECOWAS and its leaders should explore diplomacy in handling the situation”, and express the confidence that “this approach will enable all parties and the mediators to speedily design long lasting solutions to the situation in Niger.” 

“This will require further engagements with the coup leaders to discuss a concrete roadmap for the situation,” Catholic Bishops in Ghana say.


Niger borders Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Libya, Benin, Algeria, and Chad. Most of these countries are wreaked by terrorism and are on the list of places where Christians are persecuted the most.

In their August 24 message, GCBC members reiterate the message of members of the Regional Episcopal Conference of West Africa (RECOWA), calling for “restraint on the part of  the ECOWAS leaders for the use of force to restore the constitutional regime in Niger.”

They also urge the Government of Ghana to “refrain from the use of force and likewise urges its colleague leaders to do same.” 

GCBC members further call on “Ghanaian and all other African leaders and their people to review the system of governance in the continent to be inclusive, human-centered and one which creates opportunities for all to promote the national and continental development agenda.”

On August 18, ECOWAS  announced that an army is already on standby waiting for activation to restore democracy in Niger.

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In response to the announcement by ECOWAS, civilians who are in support of the coup leaders reportedly went on the streets to protest any foreign intervention in the country.

General Tchiani has proposed a three-year power transition, warning that any attack on the country would “not be a walk in the park” for those involved. 

In their August 24 collective statement, GCBC members lament that “for the past three years, the West African Sub-region has been plagued with a series of coups d’état after years of the continent’s attempt to deepen democratic governance.”

“This situation started with the Republic of Mali in 2020, Guinea in 2021, Burkina Faso in 2022 and now Niger in 2023,” the Catholic Church leaders add.

They note that “not only did the coup makers topple the democratically elected President, but President Mohamed Bazoum and the members of his family are under house arrest.”


“The entire country is seized with fear, panic, anarchy and anxiety, and these situations have the tendency to fuel further chaos with its debilitating impact on the general public.,” GCBC members say.

The idea, they further say, of “an ECOWAS military intervention for the restoration of the constitutional regime in Niger should not even be contemplated.”  

“May our Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), guide all persons, including the coup makers, to amicably resolve this volatile situation in Niger and together make the best decisions for the interest for the people of Niger, Africa and the world at large,” Catholic Bishops in Ghana implore in their August 24 statement.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.