The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) says it is yet to receive any formal notification from Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso regarding their exit from the West African bloc.
In a statement on Sunday, ECOWAS stated that the Commission has been working assiduously with the three African countries and has remained committed to finding a negotiated solution to their political impasse.
“The attention of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS Commission) has been drawn to a statement broadcast on the National Televisions of Mali and Niger announcing the decision of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger to withdraw from ECOWAS.
“The ECOWAS Commission is yet to receive any direct formal notification from the three Member States about their intention to withdraw from the Community.
“The ECOWAS Commission, as directed by the Authority of Heads of State and Government, has been working assiduously with these countries for the restoration of constitutional order. Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali remain important members of the Community and the Authority remains committed to finding a negotiated solution to the political impasse.
“The ECOWAS Commission remains seized with the development and shall make further pronouncements as the situation evolves.”
On Sunday, the military administrations of three West African countries—Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso—announced their decision to withdraw from the subregional organisation known as the Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS.
The military government claimed that the ECOWAS group’s pan-Africanism and the loss of ideas by its founding fathers were the main reasons for their decision in a statement jointly signed by the three countries on Sunday.
They further claimed that these developments had betrayed the organization’s basic ideals and posed a threat to the happiness of its member states and their citizens.
“After 49 years of existence, the valiant people of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger note with much regret, bitterness, and great disappointment that Ecowas has moved away from the ideals of its founding fathers and Pan-Africanism.
“Furthermore, ECOWAS, under the influence of foreign powers, betraying its founding principles, has become a threat to its member states and its populations with the happiness it is supposed to ensure.”
The military chiefs of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, Capt. Ibrahim Traore, Col. Assimi Goita, and Brig-Gen. Abdourahamane Tiani, respectively, expressed their displeasure that ECOWAS has failed to provide member nations with the necessary support in the battle against terrorism and insecurity.
They denounced the unlawful, unjustified, cruel, and careless sanctions imposed on the three nations in defiance of the organization’s own charters, which they claimed represented an unreasonable and unacceptable ECOWAS stance.
They said that this move further undermined people already scarred by years of bloodshed enforced by terrorist hordes that were controlled and instrumentalized.
The three military chiefs stated that they made the choice to leave ECOWAS in light of historical precedent as well as the hopes, worries, and expectations of their respective people.
Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso are former French colonies. They are rich in minerals and agricultural resources, including lithium, cobalt, copper, uranium, sorghum, and millet.
On the evening of May 24, 2021, the Malian coup d’état got underway. And on July 26, 2023, Niger experienced a coup d’état when President Mohamed Bazoum was detained by the Presidential Guard. Shortly after declaring the coup a success, General Abdourahamane Tchiani, the commander of the Presidential Guard, proclaimed himself the head of a new military junta.
On September 30, 2022, a coup d’état occurred in Burkina Faso, overthrowing interim president Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba due to his purported incapacity to handle the Islamist insurgency in the nation. Eight months prior, a coup d’état had brought Damiba to power. The interim leader was Captain Ibrahim Traoré.