The military regimes ruling Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger have announced in a joint statement their immediate withdrawal from the Economic Community of West African States (also known by its English abbreviation ECOWAS or French CEDEAO), an international organization to which twelve other countries belong and which are under among other things, to promote peace in the region.
Relations between the three countries and ECOWAS had deteriorated significantly following the coups that brought to power the military juntas that ruled the three countries (in Mali in 2021, in Burkina Faso in 2022 and in Niger in 2023). ECOWAS had condemned the coup attempts and called for the handover of power to civilian governments. The three countries had complained about a lack of support in combating the insurgency led by the terrorist groups al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, which originated in northern Mali and spread to the Sahel, where it also reached Burkina Faso and Niger. The uprising had claimed thousands of lives, displaced millions and fueled political instability in the region.
– Also read: The weaknesses of ECOWAS