West Africa regional bloc wants Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso not to withdraw

Late last month, 3 military-led West African states announced their withdrawal from Economic Community of West African States ‘with immediate effect’

Hassan Isilow  | 09.02.2024 - Update : 10.02.2024
West Africa regional bloc wants Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso not to withdraw


West Africa’s regional bloc has urged Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso to reconsider its recent decision to withdraw from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

ECOWAS Commission President Omar Alieu Touray said in a statement late Thursday the bloc needs to remain more unified than ever.

“If there is a time for ECOWAS to stay together, this is the time. There is no challenge that ECOWAS cannot overcome,” he said.

According to Touray, there was no real basis in the reasons given by the three countries for their withdrawal.

“The hasty decision of withdrawal of membership of ECOWAS did not take into account the conditions for withdrawal of membership from ECOWAS, as espoused in the 1993 ECOWAS Revised Treaty,” the statement said.

It added that “more importantly, the three Member States have not really reflected on the implications of this decision on the citizens.”

The three West African military-led administration on Jan. 28 announced in a joint statement their withdrawal from ECOWAS “with immediate effect” which was subsequently followed by separate official notifications to the bloc on Jan. 29, the bloc said.

ECOWAS Foreign ministers held a special meeting Thursday to discuss the withdrawal of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger from the regional bloc.

Nigerian Foreign Minister Yusuf Maitama Tuggar told the opening ceremony that the decisions by the three member states have generated considerable concern across the region and beyond.

He said in the bloc’s pursuit of solutions, they must also remain committed to the principles of democratic governance and safeguarding the right of ECOWAS citizens to freely elect their leaders.

“It goes without saying that we are stronger together as a community. We project not just our common values and a more attractive market. We also can deal more effectively with those shared challenges that go beyond national borders: climate change, violent extremism, migration and organized crime,” Tuggar said.

Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.