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Intensify Dialogue With Seceded Members- AU To ECOWAS

The African Union Commission has expressed concerns over the decision by three member states to secede from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) earlier this week, calling for an intensified dialogue.

The Chairperson of the Commission, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, in a statement on Tuesday said the unity of the regional bloc must be preserved at all cost.

“The African Union Commission Chairperson calls for the pooling of all efforts so that the irreplaceable Unity of ECOWAS be preserved and African solidarity be enhanced.”

As such, he called for a comprehensive dialogue with the three states devoid of foreign interference.

“The African Union Commission Chairperson calls upon the Regional Leaders to intensify dialogue between the leaders of ECOWAS and the three above-mentioned countries.”

The Commission has also offered its assistance to influence the three into rescinding the decision.

“In this regard, he expresses the full readiness of the African Union Commission to give all assistance, within its power, to ensure the success of the logic of brotherly dialogue far from any external interference from any quarter.”

Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali- three military-ruled states- served notice for their exit from the West African bloc on Sunday, January 28 over a myriad of concerns.

In a joint statement, they said the bloc has deviated from its mandate and has come under the influence of the West and also faulted the bloc for failing to tackle challenges faced by individual members.

However, ECOWAS in a statement in reaction to the development on Sunday, said it was yet to get an official notice from the three.

“The ECOWAS Commission is yet to receive any direct formal notification from the three Member States about their intention to withdraw from the Community.”

Meanwhile, it said it has directed the Authority of Heads of State and Government to work assiduously with the three countries for the restoration of constitutional order, adding, “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.”

A junta overthrew Niger’s elected President, Mohamed Bazoum on July 26, 2023. It was preceded by Mali’s May 2021 overthrow of President Bah N’daw.

Interim President Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba was overthrown by the military in Burkina Faso on September 30, 2022.

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