Burkina Faso, The Republic of Mali and The Republic of Niger have left the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
All three countries, being led by militaries, said after 49 years of existence, “the valiant people of Burkina, Mali and Niger” had noted with great regret, bitterness and great disappointment that the Organization had moved away from the ideals of its founding fathers and Pan-Africanism.
A joint statement signed by the three Heads of State, Captain Ibrahim Traoré, Colonel Assimi Golta and Brigadier General Abdourahamane Tiani, for Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger respectively, said: “ECOWAS, under the influence of foreign powers, betraying its founding principles, has become a threat to its member states and its populations whose happiness it is supposed to ensure.”
It said: “The Organisation did not assist our States in the framework of our existential fight against terrorism and worse insecurity when our States decided to take their destiny into their own hands…”
Instead, ECOWAS, imposed “illegal, illegitimate, inhumane and irresponsible sanctions in violation of its own texts.
The Statement said: “Faced with this continuing situation Captain (Ibrahim Traoré, Colonel Assimi Goita and Brigadier General Abdourahamane Tiani, taking all their responsibilities in the face of history and responding to the expectations, concerns and aspirations of their populations, decide in complete sovereignty on the immediate withdrawal of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger from the Economic Community of West African States.”
The three countries were suspended from ECOWAS following the coups, and relations between them and the regional bloc have deteriorated for months.
“The Organisation notably failed to assist these States in their existential fight against terrorism and insecurity” Abdramane added.
Last year, they withdrew from an international force known as the G5 that was set up to fight Islamists in the Sahel region, forming their own so-called Alliance of Sahel States.