The countries stressed in the statement that it was with “great regret, bitterness and disappointment” that ECOWAS had “betrayed its founding principles” under foreign influence
Announcement of the withdrawal of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso from ECOWAS
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SPUTNIK BRAZIL Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali announced this Sunday (28) their withdrawal from ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States. In a joint statement, the countries condemned the “illegal, illegitimate, inhumane and irresponsible sanctions” imposed by the Union.
In view of the deterioration of relations in ECOWAS due to the change of government in Niger in July, on September 16, 2023, the three African nations founded the Alliance of Sahel States, a collective defense organization.
The countries stressed in the statement that it was with “great regret, bitterness and disappointment” that ECOWAS had “betrayed its founding principles” under foreign influence. “The organization has not provided any assistance to our states as part of our existential fight against terrorism and insecurity.”
Speaking to Sputnik, Nigerian analyst Issoufou Boubacar Kado Magagi explained that countries in the region “have no choice but to leave ECOWAS” and “bravely take control of their destiny.” Magagi also stressed that the panAfrican organization “is being manipulated by Western countries, along with NATO.” [Organização do Tratado do Atlântico Norte] as leadership.”
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In this context, the BRICS countries act as alternatives “ready to help these three countries.” “These rising powers produce many products that our countries need. And they need our products, namely uranium, our gold, our bauxite, our lithium. We have oil in our soil,” he told Sputnik. “It is a winwin cooperation with them. But unfortunately in countries like France it is exploitation, plundering of our wealth,” he stressed.
ECOWAS SAYS COUNTRIES STAY IN GROUP In response to the statement, ECOWAS said it had not received any official notification of the community's withdrawal from the three member countries. The group “remains committed to finding a negotiated solution to the political impasse,” the organization said in a statement.
Niger's Prime Minister Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine accused ECOWAS of dishonesty last Thursday (25) after a community negotiating team failed to attend a scheduled meeting in Niamey, the country's capital. The delegation justified their absence with a technical problem with the aircraft.
DETERMINATION IN RELATIONS WITH ECOWAS Relations between the governments of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger and the Economic Community of West African States deteriorated following the change of government in these countries. Currently, the countries are governed by transitional military governments that came to power after the security situation in the former French colonies deteriorated due to an increase in terrorist activities.
Following the forced ouster of Nigeria's president in July 2023, ECOWAS threatened to use force if the ousted president was not reinstated. The organization also imposed sanctions on the country and suspended military, financial, food and medical aid to the country.
Mali and Burkina Faso faced similar punitive measures following coups in 2021 and 2022, respectively. The bloc's sanctions are estimated to have led to the deaths of more than 125,000 people, mostly affecting women and children.