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ECOWAS affirms Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger as continued members despite juntas’ claims

By Xinhua
On 29 January 2024 at 11:52

The 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Sunday officially asserted Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger remain integral members of the regional bloc in response to an earlier declaration by the military junta in each respective country, stating their intention to withdraw membership.

The ECOWAS Commission said in a statement that it was yet to receive any direct notification from the three member states about their intention to withdraw from the community.

"Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali remain important members of the community and the Authority of Heads of State and Government remains committed to finding a negotiated solution to the political impasse," read the statement.

Earlier on Sunday, the declarations by the military junta leaders were broadcast on national televisions of Mali and Niger, sparking concern among the international community.

According to Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga, Malian minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralization, and spokesperson for the transitional government of Mali, this decision was taken in "full sovereignty" by Ibrahim Traore, president of the Transition of Burkina Faso, Colonel Assimi Goita, interim president of Mali, and Brigadier General Abdourahamane Tchiani, president of the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland of Niger, and they decided to take "all their responsibility before history" by responding "to the expectations, concerns and aspirations of their populations."

ECOWAS was founded in 1975 with a mission to promote economic integration in all fields of economic activities, particularly industry, transport, telecommunications, energy, agriculture, natural resources, commerce, monetary and financial questions, and social and cultural matters. To demand a return to constitutional order, ECOWAS, with headquarters in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, has imposed drastic sanctions on the three countries since the military took power in the three countries.

A screenshot taken from a video shows Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga, Malian minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralization, and spokesperson for the transitional government of Mali, reading a joint statement in the television news of Malian television (ORTM), Jan. 28, 2024. Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger are no longer members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), military officials of the three countries decided in a joint statement read this Sunday in the television news of Malian television (ORTM). (Xinhua)

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