gtag('config', 'UA-12595121-1'); ECOWAS Warns of Disintegration as Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger Sign Confederation Treaty – The Zimbabwe Mail

ECOWAS Warns of Disintegration as Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger Sign Confederation Treaty

Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo is received by ECOWAS President Omar Alieu Touray and Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs Yusuf Tuggar during the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Extraordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government on the political, Peace and Security Situation in the ECOWAS sub-region in Abuja, Nigeria, February 24, 2024
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ABUJA,- The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has expressed grave concerns over the potential disintegration of the region and worsening insecurity following the decision by junta-led Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger to sign a confederation treaty, signalling their intent to leave the bloc.

The Alliance of Sahel States treaty, signed on Saturday, marks a significant shift in these countries’ stance, as they turn away from the 15-member ECOWAS, which has been advocating for their return to democratic governance.

ECOWAS Commission President Omar Touray highlighted the significant benefits of the nearly 50-year-old organization, including freedom of movement and a common market encompassing 400 million people. He warned that these advantages are at risk if the three countries proceed with their departure.

“The disintegration will not only disrupt the freedom of movement and settlement of people, but it will also worsen insecurity in the region,” Touray stated at an ECOWAS summit in Abuja, Nigeria. He also noted that economic projects worth over $500 million in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger could be halted or suspended as a result.

The withdrawal of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger represents a substantial blow to regional security cooperation, particularly in terms of intelligence sharing and collective efforts to combat terrorism. The three nations have experienced a series of coups between 2020 and 2023, leading to the severance of military and diplomatic ties with both regional allies and Western powers.

ECOWAS leaders convened at the summit to deliberate on the ramifications of the Alliance of Sahel States treaty. Discussions also focused on the establishment of a regional standby force to combat terrorism and the introduction of a regional currency.

Touray emphasized the urgency of addressing these developments to maintain regional stability and security. The departure of the three countries from ECOWAS poses significant challenges, not only to the economic integration of the region but also to its collective security framework.

As the situation unfolds, the international community will be closely monitoring the actions of the Alliance of Sahel States and the response from ECOWAS, hoping for a resolution that upholds the region’s stability and security.

Source: Reuters