Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger Discuss New Confederation After ECOWAS Exit

An AFP correspondent witnessed ministers from Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger meeting in the Burkinabe capital on Thursday to explore the formation of a confederation.

In September, the three military governments founded the Alliance of Sahel States (AES), a defensive and economic agreement.

Burkina’s Defence Minister, General Kassoum Coulibaly, stated that the negotiations in Ouagadougou were an opportunity to advance the implementation of “instruments, mechanisms, and procedures” as well as the “legal architecture for the confederation”.

General Salifou Modi, his Niger counterpart, stated that the procedures will “allow our alliance and the confederation to function efficiently and to the great joy” of the three nations’ inhabitants.

At a conference in December in the Malian capital Bamako, the three countries’ foreign ministers supported the formation of a confederation as part of a long-term goal of unifying their West African neighbors inside a federation.

General Abdourahamane Tiani, Niger’s military leader, stated on Sunday that establishing a common currency with Burkina Faso and Mali could be a “way out” of “colonisation.”

The newest gathering comes only weeks after Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger declared their withdrawal from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

All three were founding members of the regional union in 1975, but had been suspended due to military coups that deposed elected civilian governments.

Since 2020, the three countries have witnessed persistent terrorist bloodshed, as well as military coups.

Their new military chiefs have also accused former colonial power France of exploiting ECOWAS.

They have expelled French ambassadors and forces while pivoting politically and militarily toward Moscow.

Mali’s Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation, Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga, stated that the ECOWAS withdrawal allows for genuine fraternity without outside intervention or manipulation.

Coulibaly went on to say that ECOWAS “has turned away from its main objective of serving the people”.

“Our decision to withdraw is irreversible,” he said.

Leave a Reply