Military-ruled Sahel states create confederation, rule out return to ECOWAS

Military-ruled Sahel states create confederation, rule out return to ECOWAS

Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger announced the creation of a confederation that will bring the three nations under one institutional umbrella, in a decision that signals a no-return to the West African regional bloc, the ECOWAS.

The leaders of the three countries announced the confederation decision at a summit in Niamey, accusing ECOWAS of taking orders from outside powers.

The three military-ruled nations tilted towards Russia building on anti-western sentiment that led to ordering a departure of western troops from the Sahel.

The nearly 50-year-old ECOWAS has become “a threat to our states,” said Niger’s military leader, Gen. Abdourahmane Tchiani.

“It’s up to us today to make the confederation alliance of Sahelian states an alternative to all bogus regional groupings, by building a sovereign community of people,” Tchiani said.

“Westerners consider that we belong to them and our wealth also belongs to them. They think that they are the ones who must continue to tell us what is good for our states. This era is gone forever; our resources will remain for us and our populations,” Burkina Faso military ruler Traoré said.

“The attack on one of us will be an attack on all the other members,” said Mali’s leader, Col. Assimi Goïta, who was chosen as the alliance leader.

The three military leaders staged separate coups against the backdrop of a surge in terrorist activity in the Sahel, which they failed to curb so far.

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