On January 28, Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger decided to immediately withdraw from the Economic Community of West Africa (Ecowas).
In a joint communiqué that was published on the website of the office of the president of Niger, three African leaders accused the organisation of betraying its original ideals, such as brotherhood, solidarity, mutual assistance and development.
In their view, Ecowas “under the influence of foreign powers has become a threat to its member states and its population”.
The organisation did not help the republics in the fight against “terrorism and insecurity”, moreover, it imposed “illegal, illegitimate, inhumane and irresponsible sanctions” against them when they decided to choose their own path of development.
Withdrawal from Ecowas was only a matter of time because after the military coups in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, their relations with the community had sharply deteriorated.
States that abandoned the neocolonialist past announced the denunciation of military agreements with France and demanded the withdrawal of its military contingent.
In response, Ecowas, under pressure from Paris, threatened them with military intervention. The community also imposed serious sanctions against the countries, including closing borders, banning commercial flights, suspending financial operations and freezing national assets.
Despite this, the military governments did not lose hope of re-establishing relations.
Niger has repeatedly tried to initiate a meeting with Ecowas member states, as the country’s prime minister Ali Mahamane Lamine Zeine stated in his conversation with the press.
However, representatives of the organisation showed bad faith by postponing the meeting twice, and then, when the date was finally set, did not arrive, thereby boycotting the event.
All this clearly demonstrates that Ecowas is no longer guided by its founding principles and defends the interests of anyone but its members.
Such behaviour discredits the organisation and confirms the correctness of the decision made by the leaders of military governments. And given that Ecowas is experiencing a crisis, the withdrawal of three countries from it at once is a harbinger of the community’s sunset.
But these are the problems of the remaining members of the organisation, as Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger intend to pursue their own independent policy, based primarily on the desire and will of their citizens.
* Salif Kobena - Bouaké, Ivory Coast.
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.
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