Home Foreign 3 countries withdraw from 15-member ECOWAS, protest suspension

3 countries withdraw from 15-member ECOWAS, protest suspension

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Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger Republics – all under military rule – have announced their immediate withdrawal from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The leaders of the three West African nations on Sunday issued a statement saying it was a “sovereign decision” to leave the ECOWAS “without delay”.

There are 15 member-states in ECOWAS.

Struggling with jihadist violence and poverty, the regimes have had tense ties with ECOWAS since coups took place in Niger Republic last July, Burkina Faso in 2022 and Mali in 2020.

All three were suspended from ECOWAS, with Niger Republic and Mali facing heavy sanctions.

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

A French military withdrawal from the Sahel — the region along the Sahara desert across Africa — has heightened concerns over the conflicts spreading southward to the Gulf of Guinea states Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Côte d’Ivoire.

The Prime Minister appointed by Niger Republic’s military regime on Thursday blasted ECOWAS for “bad faith” after the bloc largely shunned a planned meeting in Niamey.

Niger Republic had hoped for an opportunity to talk through differences with fellow states of ECOWAS, which has cold-shouldered Niamey, imposing heavy economic and financial sanctions following the military coup that overthrew elected president, Mohamed Bazoum.

Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu is the head of ECOWAS Governing Council.

Source: AFP

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