ECOWAS Leaders Meet Over Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali In Abuja

Adoga Stephen By Adoga Stephen - Editor-In-Chief
3 Min Read

President Bola Tinubu is currently hosting a Special Summit at the Aso Rock Villa in Abuja, with focus on the political, peace, and security situation in the West African region.

President Tinubu, as the chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State, is leading discussions to potentially ease sanctions imposed on military-ruled member states like Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, and Niger.

The summit brings together leaders from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), a regional bloc established almost fifty years ago. It consists of 15 countries, with its headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria.

This meeting follows the recent withdrawal of military juntas in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger from the bloc in late January. They cited grievances over what they called “illegal sanctions” that were negatively impacting their populations.

These countries accused ECOWAS of being influenced by external governments with interests that do not align with those of the West African people.

Due to the political unrest in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger, ECOWAS implemented strict measures. This included stopping all commercial and financial transactions with Niger and freezing its assets in the Aqua Central Bank, as well as the assets of state-owned companies in commercial banks.

Similar sanctions were imposed on Mali and Burkina Faso after they fell under military rule.

It is important to note that ECOWAS rules state that a member country must give one year’s notice before leaving the bloc. However, the military juntas in Mali and Burkina Faso declared their secession immediately.

This was a significant moment for ECOWAS, as it was the first time member countries had chosen to leave the bloc since Mauritania’s departure in December 2000.

Ministers from Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger Republic announced on February 15 their intention to create a confederation, adding a new layer to the current crisis and moving further away from ECOWAS.

However, ECOWAS officials have clarified that the three countries have not officially left the organization yet.

The summit in Abuja is crucial as it aims to tackle the unique challenges in the region, looking for ways to bring back peace and stability to West Africa.

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By Adoga Stephen Editor-In-Chief
Stephen studied Mass Communication at the Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu (now Lagos State University of Science and Technology), where he acquired requisite training for the practice of journalism. He loves the media, and his interest mostly lies in print medium, where his creative writing skill makes him a perfect fit.