ECOWAS Urges Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso To Re-consider Exit Decisions


The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has once again appealed to the Republics of Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso to reconsider their decisions to exit the Commission.

Nigerian President, Bola Tinubu who is the Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government made the appeal while presiding over the ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit, held at the State House, Abuja on Saturday, February 24, 2024.

Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso ruled by Military Juntas, recently in a joint communique announced their exit from ECOWAS.

They alleged that the Commission under the influence of foreign powers, was betraying its founding principles, and thus became a threat to its member states and population.

The three countries also accused the regional body of failing to support their fight against “terrorism and insecurity, while imposing illegal, illegitimate, inhumane and irresponsible sanctions”.

However, the Authority’s Chair, Tinubu, noted that democracy is nothing more than the political framework and the path to addressing the basic needs and aspirations of the people, calling on the Commission to re-examine its current approach to the quest for constitutional order in four of the Member States.

“I therefore urge them to re-consider the decision of the three of them to exit their home and not to perceive our organization as the enemy”, he said.

The ECOWAS Chair further stated that, “in the spirit of collective security and African solidarity, we realize that the stability of these nations is intricately linked to the overall peace and security of West Africa.
“As such, it is pertinent that we engage in constructive deliberations to examine the actions taken by these countries and ensure that the citizens are not denied the benefits derived from our regional integration initiatives.
“In our ensuing discussions, we must put the plight of people, the ordinary citizens at the centre of our decisions”, he said.
Speaking on the complexities of the issues at hand, the Nigerian President said, there was a need for a comprehensive and collaborative approach, and to engage in constructive dialogue, exercise prudent judgement, and work collectively towards finding enduring solutions that will lead to sustainable peace and security as well as political stability in the region.

He noted that the challenges, though daunting, present an opportunity for ECOWAS to reaffirm its commitment to the vision of the founding fathers and the principles underpinning the body’s commitment to peace, security, and regional integration.

“We must stand united in our resolve to promote economic integration, democracy, and human rights, with a view to fostering sustainable development across all our member states.

“We are gathered here to address pressing developments in our sub-region surrounding the peace and security as well as the political situations in the Republics of Niger, Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Mali. We must approach these issues with a sense of unity and commitment to the well-being of our people.

“The gravity of our responsibilities as leaders in these challenging times cannot be overstated and it is through our concerted efforts and a deep sense of history that we can address these challenges in the spirit of shared vision, solidarity, and collective responsibilities”, he added.

On the the recent decision by the Constitutional Council of Senegal to annul the postponement of the electoral process, the body commended Macky Sall for agreeing to abide by the Court’s decision to organize the election as soon as possible and to step down in line with the rule of law.

“We must all commend his courage and statesmanship as we wish him the very best in his future endeavours”, he stated.

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