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ECOWAS LIFTS ALL SANCTIONS IMPOSED ON NIGER, MALI, BURKINA FASO, AND GUINEA                                                                                          22-02-24

     By Sadiq Aminu                                                      The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, has lifted all the sanctions it imposed on Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea following unconstitutional takeover of government in those countries.

This is contained in the ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit’s communique, read by the ECOWAS Commission President, Dr. Omar Alieu Touray.

Hinging its magnaninity on the Lent and Ramadan seasons, as well as the appeal made to the leaders of the region by former Head of State, retired General Yakubu Gowon, ECOWAS however regrets the continued detention of overthrown President of Niger Republic, Mr. Mohamed Bazoom, calls for his immediate release, and the provision of an acceptable transition timetable to the constitutional order.

The communique has instructed the President of the Commission to invite Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, and Guinea, to attend the technical and consultative meetings of ECOWAS as well as all security related meetings, urging the three countries’ withdrawing from ECOWAS to reconsider the decision, in view of the benefits that the ECOWAS member states and their citizens enjoy in the community.

The authority expresses its concern over the socio-economic, political, security, and humanitarian impact of the decision, particularly on the citizens of the three countries and on the regional integration process.

It urges the three member states to resort to dialogue, negotiations, and mediation to address their concerns, calling on the three member states to adhere to the provisions of the 1993 revised treaty relating to withdrawal particularly article 91.

The authority encourages ECOWAS to sustain its rapprochement and overtures towards the broaderthree member states and continue to remain seized of the situation.

The communique encourages a outreach, which should include traditional, religious leaders, eminent personalities, civil society and women leaders for the unity and security of the regional.

The Authority reiterates the urgent need for ECOWAS to expedite the operationalisation of the standby force in its kinetic mode to fight against terrorism in the region, including the elements of the Multinational Joint Task Force, and the Accra initiative.

In this regard, the authority instructs its commission as soon as possible to convene the meeting of ministers of finance and defense to propose modalities for financing and equipping counterterrorism force.

It further instructs the commission to develop an effective communication strategy in engaging member states and the community citizens in view of the ongoing disinformation and misinformation that put ECOWAS in a bad light.

The communique takes note of the end of President Mackey Sell’s term of office on April 2, 2024. And commends him for the tremendous development he has realised as President of Senegal, and for his invaluable leadership in Africa and the world.

It calls on Senegalese stakeholders to give priority to dialogue with a view to preserving the democratic gains of Senagal, through a free, inclusive and transparent elections.

It says leaders underscored their commitment to Africans’ sovereignty, independence and unity, appealing to forwign6partners to respect African countries’ sovereignty, and independence and avoid interferences that risk destabilising member states and adversely affect regional unity.

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