The Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS Commission) has reacted to the media report of withdrawal of membership by Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger Republic, saying it was yet to receive any direct formal notification from the three Member-States about their intention to quit the regional bloc.
The juntas in Mali, Niger Republic and Burkina Faso had on Sunday announced the immediate withdrawal of their membership from ECOWAS in protest to their suspension from the regional bloc following coup d’etats in their countries.
The leaders of the three West African countries issued a statement on Sunday, saying it was their “sovereign decision” to leave the ECOWAS “without delay”.
Struggling with jihadist violence and poverty, the regimes have had running battles with ECOWAS since coups took place in Niger on July 26, 2023, Burkina Faso in 2022 and Mali in 2020.
All three were suspended from ECOWAS, with Niger and Mali facing heavy sanctions.
However, in a communique issued by the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja on Sunday evening, a copy of which was seen online, the body said it had been working assiduously with the three countries for restoration of constitutional order, while insisting that Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali remained important members of the Community and the Authority of Heads of State and Government remained committed to finding a negotiated solution to the political impasse.
“The attention of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS Commission) has been drawn to a statement broadcast on the National Televisions of Mali and Niger announcing the decision of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger to withdraw from ECOWAS.
“The ECOWAS Commission is yet to receive any direct formal notification from the three Member States about their intention to withdraw from the Community.
“The ECOWAS Commission, as directed by the Authority of Heads of State and Government, has been working assiduously with these countries for the restoration of constitutional order. Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali remain important members of the Community and the Authority remains committed to finding a negotiated solution to the political impasse.
“The ECOWAS Commission remains seized with the development and shall make further pronouncements as the situation evolves,” ECOWAS Commission stated.