Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger exit ECOWAS

Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger have all announced their withdrawal from The Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS). This is following their decision in December 2023 to form their own confederation. All three countries which are led by coup-born governments share anti-west ideals, and have opted to govern based on their ideologies.

The presidents of these three nations issued a statement that relayed their departure from the West African regional group Ecowas.

In the statement, they noted that the decision to leave the Economic Community of West African States “without delay” was “sovereign.”

These states, all of which were established by coups, have subsequently become the group’s stepchildren, facing sanctions and ultimatums. Their rejection of Western ideals and acceptance of Russian sentiments particularly in the case of Burkina Faso, has also raised a few eye brows.

In response, these three nations have faced international sanctions including their removal from the U.S. AGOA trade, and the World Bank halting disbursements to Niger.

Seeing as these three nations share a similar path, this is not the first time they have jointly made a contentious decision.

In December 2023, the foreign ministers of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger suggested the formation of a confederation as a first step toward their long-term goal of forming a federation of West African neighbors.

Recent rifts with the west

These three nations to varying degrees have all had their own skirmishes with the west, within the last year.

Mali sent away the French troops within its borders in August 2022. Niger and Burkina Faso, also experienced a similar debacle with French troops exiting both nations last year.

See story here: Last French troops exit Niger, creates security vacuum in the Sahel

In December 2023, the last UN peacekeeping mission left Mali, after its decade long presence. To add to that, in the same month, Mali and Niger both nullified their tax treaties with France.

Military coup history


The Republic of Niger had a coup d’état on July 26, 2023, when President Mohamed Bazoum was detained by his presidential guard. General Abdourahamane Tchiani, the commander of the presidential guard, declared himself the head of a new military junta shortly after it was confirmed that the coup had succeeded.

Burkina Faso

President Roch Marc Christian Kabore was taken into custody by mutinous forces at the direction of Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba in January 2022. On September 30, eight months later, Captain Ibrahim Traoré proclaimed himself the head of state, causing Burkina Faso to experience its second coup of the year.


President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta was overthrown on August 18, 2020, in a coup d’état led by Assimi Goïta, a group of Malian military commanders, on charges of corruption, a faltering economy, and insecurity.

Source: Business insider Africa

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