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(L-R ) The leader of Burkina Faso, Ibrahim Traoré, Mali’s military leader Colonel Assimi Goita and Niger’s General Abdourahmane Tchiani. (Photo: X)

The military-led governments of Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso have jointly declared their immediate withdrawal from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), alleging that the regional bloc has deviated from its original purpose and now poses a threat to its member states.

(L-R ) The leader of Burkina Faso, Ibrahim Traoré, Mali’s military leader Colonel Assimi Goita and Niger’s General Abdourahmane Tchiani. (Photo: X)
(L-R ) The leader of Burkina Faso, Ibrahim Traoré, Mali’s military leader Colonel Assimi Goita and Niger’s General Abdourahmane Tchiani. (Photo: X)

(L-R ) The leader of Burkina Faso, Ibrahim Traoré, Mali’s military leader Colonel Assimi Goita and Niger’s General Abdourahmane Tchiani. (Photo: X)

The military-led governments of Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso have jointly declared their immediate withdrawal from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), alleging that the regional bloc has deviated from its original purpose and now poses a threat to its member states.

They announced their decision to withdraw from ECOWAS in a collective statement issued on Sunday, asserting their sovereignty in the matter. According to the statement, ECOWAS, influenced by external powers, has strayed from its founding principles and has become a peril to both its member states and their populations.

The three nations accused ECOWAS of neglecting to assist them in combating terrorism and insecurity within their borders while imposing sanctions that they deem unlawful, unjust, and detrimental to their people.

In response, ECOWAS stated that it had not received formal notification of the withdrawal, noting that according to its protocol, the withdrawal process typically takes up to a year to finalize. Despite this development, ECOWAS emphasized the continued importance of Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali within the community and expressed its commitment to resolving the political discord through dialogue.

ECOWAS, established in 1975 to foster economic integration among member states, has faced challenges in recent years, particularly regarding addressing coup d'états in the region. Following military takeovers in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger in recent years, ECOWAS responded by suspending the countries and imposing sanctions.

Efforts by Niger to mend relations with ECOWAS were met with limited success, as only representatives from Togo attended the meeting held in Niamey. This lack of participation led to accusations of bad faith from Niger's army-appointed prime minister.

In response to the rise of violent armed groups, the military leaderships of the three withdrawing nations have formed the "Alliance of Sahel States" to address security challenges in the region. Additionally, they have severed military ties with France, their former colonial ruler, following France's decision to withdraw its troops from the Sahel countries after the coups.

The withdrawal of French forces and economic sanctions have raised concerns about the potential spread of armed groups towards more stable coastal nations such as Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Ivory Coast. The region has already witnessed a significant number of attacks and casualties, prompting fears of worsening humanitarian crises.

 

 

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