THE military regimes in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger have announced their immediate withdrawal from the Economic Community of West African States [ECOWAS].
In a joint statement on Sunday, January 28, the leaders of the three Sahel nations said they had taken a sovereign decision to pull out their countries from ECOWAS.
“After 49 years, the valiant peoples of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger regretfully and with great disappointment observe that the (ECOWAS) organisation has drifted from the ideals of its founding fathers and the spirit of Pan-Africanism,” Niger junta spokesman, Amadou Abdramane said in the statement.
“The organisation notably failed to assist these states in their existential fight against terrorism and insecurity,” Abdramane added.
ECOWAS imposed sanctions on the countries following the takeover of the military junta but has sustained negotiations and demanded transitions to civilian rule.
The announcement is the latest development following a series of efforts by the regional bloc to return the countries to civilian rule.
Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso still members, ECOWAS insists
Reacting to the development via a communique issued on Sunday evening, the ECOWAS commission said it was yet to receive any direct formal notification from the three member states about their intention to quit the regional bloc.
It insisted that Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso remained important members of the Community, and the Authority of Heads of State and Government remained 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,” the commission concluded.
Nurudeen Akewushola is an investigative reporter and fact-checker with The ICIR. He believes courageous in-depth investigative reporting is the key to social justice, accountability and good governance in the society. You can shoot him a scoop via [email protected] and @NurudeenAkewus1 on Twitter.