BREAKING: Tinubu and ECOWAS leaders meet in Abuja over Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali membership withdrawal

Nigeria’s President Ahmed Bola Tinubu and other ECOWAS leaders are currently meeting in Abuja to discuss political and economic issues concerning the sub-region.

Tinubu who chairs the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State is leading talks expected to see the regional bloc relaxing sanctions on its military-ruled member states of Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, and Niger.

Headquartered in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, the nearly 50-year-old bloc consists of 15 countries.

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However, the military-led juntas of Burkina-Faso, Mali and Niger, in late January, announced their withdrawal over “illegal sanctions” harming their people.

They also alleged that the bloc had fallen under the influence of foreign governments whose interests, they said were far from the peoples’.

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In July 2023, the regional bloc approved the “Suspension of all commercial and financial transactions between ECOWAS Member States and Niger. Freeze all service transactions, including energy transactions.”

It froze assets of the Republic of Niger in Aqua Central Bank and the state enterprises and parastatals in commercial banks.

It also took similar steps when Mali and Burkina-Faso fell under military rule.

Although ECOWAS’ rules mandate a withdrawing member state to issue one year’s notice, the junta declared their secession as immediate. It was the first withdrawal nearly 24 years after Mauritania pulled out in December 2000.

On February 15, ministers from Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger Republic announced plans to establish a confederation.

However, the ECOWAS says the trio has not formally withdrawn from the league

This report is developing, more details will be shared on the Intel Region WhatsApp group as soon as possible.

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