Niger, Gabon Others May Miss Africa Military Games 2024, Says DHQ
The Republic of Niger, Gabon, and other African countries where the military has recently toppled democratically elected governments may not participate in Africa Military Games 2024, the Defence Headquarters has said.
The DHQ said the countries would only be invited to participate in the event subject to approval by the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of African States (ECOWAS).
Niger, Gabon, Chad, Burkina Faso are among the African countries whose armed forces toppled their democratically elected governments, and the countries are currently facing different sanctions by the regional bodies.
Director of Sports at the Defence Headquarters, Air Vice-Marshall Abidemi Timothy, said this on Tuesday, September 5, at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja while fielding questions after a briefing on the preparation for the second edition of Africa Military Games, Abuja 2024, and Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Half Marathon for Military and Security Agencies in Nigeria.
He said though sports was a subtle way of diplomacy, the countries would only be invited based on approval from AU and ECOWAS.
Timothy said: “These countries are under AU and ECOWAS suspension, because of the recent invents. If the political masters, that is the AU and ECOWAS, said they should not be invited they won’t.
“This is because all these games are administratively, but not operationally, under the auspices of the AU and ECOWAS. So it is not cast in stone that these countries will be formally invited.”
Earlier, the President of the Organisation of Military Sport in Africa, Maj-Gen. Maikano Abdullahi said the Africa Military Games was a multi-sport event for military personnel in Africa, and the 2024 Theme was: “Enhancing Military Cooperation in Africa through Sports.”
He said the aim of Africa Military Games 2024 was to allow African countries to interact with one another towards enhancing the historical collaborative efforts and working relationships they have enjoyed over the years.
Abdullahi said over two thousand military personnel across Africa, and a total number of 42 countries would participate in the event, which he said was expected to be held from November 6 to 15 2024, at the Moshood Abiola Stadium Abuja, and other military sporting facilities in Abuja.
According to him, the event which was first held in Nairobi, Kenya, would feature 19 sporting events, including swimming, obstacle crossing, volleyball, football, and table tennis.
Abdullahi said the event was being sponsored by the Ministry of Defence, Defence Headquarters, the Army, Navy and Air Force.
On the CDS Half Marathon, AVM Timothy said the marathon was strictly for the military, other security agencies, and veterans.
He said the event would hold in Abuja in November 25, 2923, and would cover 21 kilometers.
AVM Timothy said the theme of the event was “Enahacing Security agencies Cooperation through Sports.”