Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso withdraw from West Africa's regional bloc as tensions deepen


ABUJA, Nigeria — Three West African nations of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger have withdrawn from the regional economic bloc known as ECOWAS, their respective juntas announced Sunday, accusing the bloc of “inhumane” sanctions to reverse the coups in their nations.

The juntas said in a joint statement read on state television that they have “decided in complete sovereignty on the immediate withdrawal of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), alleging that the bloc has “moved away from the ideals of its founding fathers and pan-Africanism” after nearly 50 years of its establishment.

“Furthermore, ECOWAS, under the influence of foreign powers, betraying its founding principles, has become a threat to its member states and its populations whose happiness it is supposed to ensure,” their statements read.

It is the latest twist in a series of events that have deepened political tension in West Africa since it experienced its latest of a string of coups — in Niger — last year.



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