West Africa: Nigeria Expresses Concern Over Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso's Withdrawal From Ecowas

29 January 2024

The Federal Government of Nigeria has expressed its sadness over the pronouncement by the Military authority in the Republic of Niger indicating that the Republics of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger have withdrawn membership of their countries from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

In a statement on Monday by Francisca K. Omayuli, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the FG said for half a century, ECOWAS had worked to promote peace, prosperity and democracy in the region.

The military juntas in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger had on Sunday withdrawn from the ECOWAS "with immediate effect".

However, the statement from the foreign affairs ministry, said: "Nigeria stands with ECOWAS to emphasise due process and shared commitment to protect and strengthen the rights and welfare of all citizens of Member States.

"Nigeria has worked sincerely and in good faith to reach out to all members of the ECOWAS family to resolve the difficulties being faced.

"It is now clear that those seeking to quit the Community do not share that same good faith," said the statement.

The FG accused the unelected leaders of denying their people the sovereign right to make fundamental choices over their freedom of movement, freedom to trade and freedom to choose their leaders.

The FG however expressed its desire to engage with Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger "so that all the people of the region can continue to enjoy the economic benefits and democratic values that ECOWAS embraces."

Nigeria further appeals to the International Community to continue to extend its support for ECOWAS and the vision of closer partnership, cooperation and integration.

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