Niger crisis requires a multifaceted approach, Says US Academic

Dr. Fred Cocozelli, an associate professor of Government and Politics at St. John’s University in the United States, has emphasized that addressing the Nigerien democratic crisis should not rely on force alone. He believes that resolving this crisis requires a multifaceted approach that goes beyond diplomacy to persuade the military junta to step down from power. Cocozelli cautioned against the use of force, as it is unlikely to provide a viable solution to the ongoing crisis.

The military junta, led by Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani, seized power in Niger by overthrowing President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26. In response, ECOWAS threatened to use force if the coup leaders did not restore constitutional order.

Dr. Fred Cocozelli, an expert, suggests that restoring democracy in Niger would likely require a combination of diplomatic efforts and incentives for the junta. He believes that the African Union, United Nations, and international community should assure Niger that they will support the country in making democracy work. This support could involve promises or benefits for the junta when they return to democratic governance, though not necessarily military rewards.

Dr. Cocozelli also notes that the crisis in Niger does not meet the criteria for forceful intervention, which typically involves violence and severe human rights violations. Instead, he suggests that this situation calls for diplomacy and incentives to encourage the junta to embrace democratic norms.