Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger claim to have made “formal notification” of their departure from ECOWAS

01/27/2023 Assimi Goita, leader of the military junta in Mali INTERNATIONAL POLITICS MALI PRESIDENCY OF MALI

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mali has claimed to have made a “formal notification” of the departure of its country and its neighbors Burkina Faso and Niger from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), after it denied having received the notice from these countries to withdraw from the organization. Bamako has explained that the three countries published a press release in which they reported “their decision to withdraw jointly and without delay” from the organization, so “this communication constitutes a formal notification to the ECOWAS Commission, the African Union , the UN “and all relevant organizations”, according to a letter. The day before, ECOWAS indicated that it “has not yet” directly received formal notification from the three member states “about their intention to withdraw from the organization “, while she stressed that “she remains aware of the situation and will subsequently make further statements depending on the evolution of the situation.” Likewise, she stressed that she “remains determined to find a negotiated solution to the political stalemate” in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, which hours before announced in unison its abandonment of the organization, which acted as the main mediator to manage its return to constitutional order. It also defended its work by stating that “in accordance with the instructions received from the Assembly of Heads of State and Government , the ECOWAS Commission has worked hard with the countries concerned with a view to restoring constitutional order.” With this decision, the three countries, governed by coup military junta and that have been fighting jihadist groups for years, carry out the final recognition of the group that they decided to form in September of last year, the Alliance of Sahel States, in the face of the numerous criticism of ECOWAS for the sanctions imposed. The departure of these three countries represents the collective abandonment of almost 70 million people from the pan-African organization, whose mediators have tried without success to reduce the deadlines for its, until now, three suspended members (four, counting Guinea) to proclaim elections for the return to civil order, amid sanctions that have only infuriated its military leaders, who have been abandoning Western influence to get closer and closer to Russia in its defense against terrorism in the region.

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