Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso To Form New Confederation After ECOWAS Exit


Ministers from Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger convened in Ouagadougou on Thursday to discuss the formation of a new confederation after recently withdrawing from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), as witnessed by an AFP journalist.

The move comes as part of a broader initiative, initiated in September, with the establishment of a defense and economic pact named the Alliance of Sahel States (AES).

General Kassoum Coulibaly, Burkina’s Defence Minister, highlighted the discussions’ focus on developing the legal architecture for the confederation and implementing necessary instruments and mechanisms.

The objective is to strengthen collaboration among the three nations, building on their shared vision of unity within a federation.

General Salifou Modi of Niger expressed optimism about the outlined procedures, emphasizing their potential to enhance the efficiency of both the Alliance of Sahel States and the envisioned confederation, ultimately benefiting the populations of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger.

In December, the foreign ministers of the three nations endorsed the idea of a confederation during a meeting in Bamako.

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General Abdourahamane Tiani of Niger proposed the establishment of a common currency with Burkina and Mali as a means to break free from perceived “colonial” influences.

This recent development closely follows the announcement of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger’s withdrawal from ECOWAS, of which they were founding members in 1975.

The withdrawal was prompted by military coups displacing elected civilian governments in the respective nations. Since 2020, the three countries have been grappling with persistent jihadist violence and undergoing military coups.