ECOWAS has urged Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali to reconsider their decision to leave the political and economic alliance, warning of the hardships it would cause their citizens. The three self-appointed military leaders announced their departure on January 28 after pressured to restore constitutional order following a string of coups.
The move threatens to further weaken ECOWAS, which has struggled to curb a retreat of democracy in West Africa since a military takeover in Mali in 2020.
The ECOWAS mediation and security council met in Abuja to discuss the issue and an electoral crisis in Senegal. The juntas plan to leave “without delay” as they do not feel bound by treaty terms, increasing the chances of a messy disentanglement from the region’s trade and services flows.