ECOWAS Nears Collapse as Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger Form Confederation


The military leaders of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger have celebrated a newly signed treaty as a significant step toward “greater integration” among the three nations, further distancing themselves from traditional regional and Western allies.

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During a summit in Niamey on Saturday, the three leaders—Niger’s General Abdourahmane Tchiani, Burkina Faso’s Captain Ibrahim Traore, and Mali’s Colonel Assimi Goita—signed a confederation treaty aimed at strengthening their mutual defense pact, the Alliance of Sahel States (AES). This summit marked the first joint meeting since they assumed power through coups from 2020 to 2023.

The treaty signing comes just months after the three countries withdrew from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in January. Speaking at the summit, Tchiani labeled the 50-year-old ECOWAS “a threat to our states,” criticizing its response to their military takeovers and subsequent sanctions.

“We are going to create an AES of the peoples, instead of an ECOWAS whose directives and instructions are dictated to it by powers that are foreign to Africa,” Tchiani said. Traore echoed this sentiment, accusing foreign powers of exploitation and asserting that the era of Western control is over.

Mali’s Goita emphasized the strengthened alliance’s defense implications, stating, “An attack on one of us will be an attack on all the other members.”

The creation of the AES and the departure of these three countries have significantly weakened ECOWAS, leading to concerns about the bloc’s ability to maintain regional integration and security. Adama Gaye, a political commentator and former ECOWAS communications director, acknowledged this challenge, noting the bloc’s struggles with regional integration and security.

The Niamey summit also coincided with the United States’ withdrawal from a key base in Niger, highlighting the shift in security relations in the region. With French troops having left Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso, and U.S. forces also pulling out, the three nations have increasingly turned to Russia for security and economic ties. However, the effectiveness of this new approach in curbing violence remains uncertain, as these countries continue to grapple with insurgencies and instability.

This shifting landscape poses a significant challenge to ECOWAS, which must now navigate the complexities of reintegrating these nations and addressing the broader issues of regional security and economic cooperation.

By Naija247news
By Naija247news
Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

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