The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), today announced that it has not received any formal notification of withdrawal from the three countries announcing their decisions to leave the West African regional body.
In a communique issued today January 28, 2024, and published on X, ECOWAS says its attention 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 the bloc.
ECOWAS Communique on Burkina Faso, Mali & Niger pic.twitter.com/5knRzXXKnz
— Ecowas – Cedeao (@ecowas_cedeao) January 28, 2024
“The ECOWAS Commission is yet to receive any direct formal notification from the three Member States about their intention to withdraw from the Community,” it said.
According to the Communique, 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,” ECOWAS says.
The three countries, all of them military-led, announced their immediate withdrawal from ECOWAS accusing the body of becoming a threat to its members.
In a joint statement, Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso say, they “decide in complete sovereignty on the immediate withdrawal” from the ECOWAS.
They accused ECOWAS of what they say is being, “under the influence of foreign powers, betraying its founding principles, has become a threat to its member states and its population.”
The three countries accused the regional body of failing to support their fight against “terrorism and insecurity”, while imposing “illegal, illegitimate, inhumane and irresponsible sanctions”.
ECOWAS is a 15-nation bloc formed in 1975 to “promote economic integration” in member states.
The three countries came under military control after coups in 2020 and 2021 in Mali, 2022 in Burkina Faso and in 2023 in Niger.
By Emmanuel K Dogbevi