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Niger, Mali and Burkina announce withdrawal from ECOWAS

Niger, Mali and Burkina announce withdrawal from ECOWAS

“After 49 years of existence, the valiant people of Burkina, Mali, and Niger announced with much disappointment that their Organisation has moved away from the ideals of founding fathers and Pan-Africanism,” read a joint statement from the military rulers released on Sunday, January 28.

Colonel Amadou Abdramane, spokesman for the Niger junta, said, “The organisation notably failed to assist these states in their existential fight against terrorism and insecurity.”

In an attempt to force the military rulers of the Sahel to restore democratic administration and hold elections, the regional union has implemented a number of measures, but to no avail.

The military leadership have not provided a precise timeline for returning constitutional authority to the countries following the coups, despite negotiations, sanctions, and threats of military action.

Instead, they have developed a stronger sense of hostility towards the bloc and have accused it of being influenced by foreign powers. In addition to cutting diplomatic and military ties with their former colonial master, France, the three countries have turned to Russia for security support.

Furthermore, the three military commanders of Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso have declared that they would rather restore security before holding elections due to insurgencies associated with the Islamic State and al Qaeda.

It is yet unknown how the decisions made by the juntas in Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso will impact the 15-member regional bloc that permits unrestricted movement of people and goods.

States that choose to quit the bloc must give written notice one year in advance, according to the union’s treaty. It’s unknown at this time whether all three states have done this.

They are required by the treaty to abide by its regulations for the full year.

The West African regional bloc’s leadership has not yet responded to the development.


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