Burkina, Mali, Niger withdraw from ECOWAS

… Says ECOWAS now a threat to member states

The governments of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger on Sunday announced their immediate withdrawal from the West African bloc ECOWAS, saying it has become a threat to member states.

The leaders of the three nations issued a statement saying it was a “sovereign decision” to leave the Economic Community of West African States “without delay,” according to AFP.

The regimes have had tense ties with ECOWAS since coups took place in Niger last July, Burkina Faso in 2022 and Mali in 2020.

Meanwhile, ECOWAS said in a statement on Sunday that it “remains committed to finding a negotiated solution to the political impasse” with all three countries.

It said it was yet to receive any direct formal notification of the withdrawal of the three states.

Burkina, Mali and, Niger founding members of the bloc in 1975, were suspended from ECOWAS with Niger and Mali facing heavy sanctions as the bloc tried to push for the early return of civilian governments through elections.

The three nations have hardened their positions in recent months and joined forces in an “Alliance of Sahel States.”

The leaders’ joint statement added that the 15-member ECOWAS, “under the influence of foreign powers, betraying its founding principles, has become a threat to member states and peoples.”

They accused the regional body of failing to help them tackle the jihadists who swept into Mali from 2012 and then on to Burkina and Niger.

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