Three African countries withdraw from ECOWAS bloc

A major crisis has hit the 49-year-old Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Three member countries- Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger-quit the sub-regional group, following protracted disagreement over its rejection of military rule in West Africa.

However, ECOWAS claimed that it was yet to get a notification about the withdrawal announced by the governments of the three countries.

The three Sahel nations said in a joint statement on state televisions that they had made a “sovereign decision” to leave ECOWAS “without delay”.

The juntas said they have “decided in complete sovereignty on the immediate withdrawal of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger from the ECOWAS,” alleging that the bloc has “moved away from the ideals of its founding fathers and pan-Africanism” after nearly 50 years of its establishment.

The statement added: “Furthermore, ECOWAS, under the influence of foreign powers, betraying its founding principles, has become a threat to its member states and its populations whose happiness it is supposed to ensure.”

Struggling with jihadist violence and poverty, relations between the regimes and ECOWAS have been ruptured, following the coups that took place in Niger last July, Burkina Faso in 2022, and Mali in 2020.

The three countries were suspended from ECOWAS, with Niger and Mali facing heavy sanctions.

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



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