Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger Shock ECOWAS by Officially Withdrawing, Citing Sovereignty Threats and Forming Alliance of Sahel States

Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger Announce Shocking Withdrawal from ECOWAS:

In a surprising turn of events, Mali and Burkina Faso have officially communicated their decision to withdraw from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), with Niger expected to follow suit.

The move is attributed to concerns over threats to their sovereignty, as declared by the military regimes of these nations.

Formal Notices Submitted to ECOWAS:

The Foreign Affairs Ministry of Mali has shared a copy of its formal notice to ECOWAS, while Burkina Faso’s official news agency has confirmed its own notification.

Niger, though yet to release information, is expected to join the coordinated withdrawal.

Statutory Timeline for Withdrawal:

ECOWAS, in response, has expressed that it awaits “formal and direct notification” from the member countries.

As per the bloc’s statutes, withdrawal cannot take effect until at least a year after such notification.

Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger, being founding members since 1975, have faced sanctions from ECOWAS following military coups that displaced elected civilian governments.

Accusations Against ECOWAS and Formation of Alliance of Sahel States:

The trio accuses ECOWAS of succumbing to “the influence of foreign powers” and betraying its foundational principles, deeming it a threat to member states.

Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger are now part of an Alliance of Sahel States (AES), formed in response to what they perceive as ECOWAS’ shortcomings.

Nigeria Expresses Regret and Emphasizes Commitment:

Nigeria, a regional powerhouse and host of ECOWAS, has expressed regret over the departure of the three countries.

In a statement, Nigeria’s Foreign Ministry criticized the actions of “unelected leaders” in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger, accusing them of denying their citizens fundamental rights.

Nigeria Remains Open for Engagement:

Despite the turmoil, Nigeria affirms its commitment to due process and the rights and welfare of citizens in ECOWAS member states.

The country remains “open for engagement” with Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger, calling on the international community to continue supporting ECOWAS and its vision for regional partnership and integration.

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