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ECOWAS Urges Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali Not To Withdraw

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The junta-led countries of Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali were urged by the West African regional grouping ECOWAS to reevaluate their decision to leave the political and economic partnership, the group stated on Thursday, citing the hardships the move will cause for their people.

Following a series of coups, the self-appointed military leaders of the three nations jointly declared on January 28 that they were leaving the bloc in response to calls to reinstate constitutional order.
With their departure, ECOWAS, which has battled to stop the decline of democracy in West Africa since a military coup in Mali in 2020, faces even greater vulnerability.

Its Security Council and mediation convened in the Nigerian city of Abuja to talk about the matter and an electoral situation in Senegal involving the extraordinary postponement of a presidential election.

Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, the head of the council, expressed his opinion that the juntas’ decision to withdraw “would bring more hardship and will do more harm to the common citizens of those three countries.”
“For this reason, we nevertheless implore those three nations to stay… And following the meeting behind closed doors, he declared, “ECOWAS is going to redouble its efforts towards diplomacy, towards dialogue, towards reconciliation.”

Omar Touray, the president of the ECOWAS Commission, criticised the juntas for their hurried decision and claimed they had not followed the correct procedures to leave the bloc prior to the talks.
Touray did not say which withdrawal requirements were disregarded. Member states have to offer a written one-year notice if they want to withdraw.

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