Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso announce withdrawal from ECOWAS

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(VOVWORLD) - West African nations including Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger on Sunday released a joint statement announcing their withdrawal from the regional economic bloc known as ECOWAS.

The statement read on Malian television in Niger, said the bloc has “moved away from the ideals of its founding fathers and pan-Africanism” after nearly 50 years in existence.

A spokesman for the Niger government said ECOWAS hasn’t supported those countries in fighting “existential” threats like terrorism and instability.

Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso have been led by military juntas since coups took place there in 2020, and all have had their membership status suspended by ECOWAS. The latest was Niger, suspended last December.

The three countries signed a mutual defense agreement last September, pledging to support each other if a member is attacked.