Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali have officially withdrawn from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) with immediate effect.
The military leadership in these three countries announced their decision on January 28 in a joint statement broadcast on Niger’s national television.
According to reports from Wion News, the leaders of these Sahel nations described their departure from ECOWAS as a “sovereign decision” that would be carried out promptly.
Colonel Amadou Abdramane, a spokesperson for the junta in Niger, explained in the statement,
“After 49 years, the brave citizens of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger sadly acknowledge that the ECOWAS organisation has departed from the values of its founding fathers and the spirit of Pan-Africanism.
The organization notably failed to support these nations in their critical battle against terrorism and insecurity.”