Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso ‘irrevocably turn backs’ on ECOWAS

Abdourahamane Tiani, Niger Republic’s military leader, says the people of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso have “irrevocably turned their backs” on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Speaking on Saturday at the first summit of the Alliance of Sahel States (AES) held in Nigerien capital city Niamey, Tiani accused ECOWAS of not doing enough to combat jihadist violence.

The AES was set up after the three Sahel nations pulled out of ECOWAS in February.

The military-run states fell out with the West African regional bloc following the coup d’etat which brought Tiani to power in Niger in July 2023.


ECOWAS imposed sanctions — including border closure and halt of the export of electric power to Niger — against the junta-led countries as part of efforts to reverse the coups in the nations.

The sanctions were however lifted in February, and few days later, the countries pulled out of ECOWAS. 

“Our people have irrevocably turned their backs on ECOWAS,” Tiani said.


The AES also alleged that ECOWAS is being manipulated by former colonial ruler France, with Tiani calling for the AES to become a “community far removed from the stranglehold of foreign powers”.

The countries said they would instead turn towards Russia, Turkey and Iran — their “sincere partners”.

“The AES is the only effective sub-regional grouping in the fight against terrorism,” he said.

Meanwhile, ECOWAS is due to hold a summit of its heads of state in Abuja on Sunday.


Part of the agenda to be discussed at the summit is the issue of relations with the AES.


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