Mali, 2 Others Quit ECOWAS

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) membership has been reduced by three countries.

On Sunday, Niger Mali and Burkina Faso announced they were quitting the regional body

The countries are also contemplating a merger, which could make them the fourth largest country in Africa after Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt.

ECOWAS leaders, led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, have been calling on the three countries to return to democratic rule.

The latest decision is a blow to the regional bloc.

The announcement means that the three countries are no longer responsible to ECOWAS, a conservative bloc ruled by pro-colonialist leaders.

The three countries made the joint announcement on Sunday.

Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger have diminished diplomatic ties with France while cutting military ties.

The three countries have also developed new political and economic roadmaps that make them closer to Russia and China.

“After 49 years, the valiant peoples of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger regretfully and with great disappointment observe that the (ECOWAS) organization has drifted from the ideals of its founding fathers and the spirit of pan-Africanism,” Colonel Amadou Abdramane, Niger spokesman, said in the statement.

“The organization notably failed to assist these states in their existential fight against terrorism and insecurity,” the three countries said.

The three countries are also members of the eight-nation West African Monetary Union (UEMOA) that uses the West Africa CFA Franc currency pegged to the Euro.