ECOWAS Leaders Work to Reunite Mali, B'Faso, Niger - Beyond Boders
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ECOWAS Leaders Work to Reunite Mali, B’Faso, Niger

On Sunday, President Bola Tinubu was re-elected for another one-year term as Chairman of the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States).

At the meeting in Abuja, Tinubu chose the Presidents of Senegal and Togo to help bring Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger back into the regional group.

Tinubu’s first term ends on July 9, 2024. He was re-elected unanimously by the other heads of state at the 65th ECOWAS meeting.

In his speech, Tinubu said, “I have accepted to continue the service to the great members and the great minds that are committed to democratic values and our journey in the region. I will continue to serve our interests and build on democratic values and the structure that we inherited. Thank you very much.”

Before the election, sources said Tinubu might be re-elected. Tinubu became Chairman of ECOWAS last July. During his first term, he focused on the serious security problems and military coups in the region.

After Tinubu became Chairman, Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum was overthrown by his guard, led by General Abdourahamane Tchiani.

Burkina Faso and Mali also experienced military coups. As a result, ECOWAS imposed economic sanctions on these countries and Guinea.

Even though some sanctions were lifted in February, the junta-led states of Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso still want to leave ECOWAS.

Recently, leaders of these three countries signed a treaty to strengthen their defense pact.

To address this, Tinubu appointed Senegal’s President Bassirou Faye and Togo’s President Faure Gnassingbé to lead negotiations with Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger.

Tinubu said, “I have appointed the President of Senegal, Bassirou Faye, to please become our Special Envoy to Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger Republic, along with the President of Togo, Faure Gnassingbé, to do around-the-clock work with our brothers in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger Republic, and to coordinate with me and the ECOWAS Commission, where necessary.”

The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Omar Touray, said, “This is in the spirit of engagement that our leaders believe should continue. Because, we don’t only share borders, we share families, we share communities, and the leaders are determined to do everything possible to keep our community together. ECOWAS is not about heads of state. It’s a community of people that must stay together.”

Touray also mentioned a $2.6 billion budget for a regional force to fight terrorism and unconstitutional changes in government. The budget details will be decided by experts in the next three months.

Tinubu urged member states to contribute financially to ensure security and stability in the region.

Touray added that ECOWAS will continue to invite Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso to security meetings, stating that the goal is to launch a single regional currency, the ECO, by 2027.

In conclusion, ECOWAS is working hard to bring back its members and ensure peace and security in the region.

 

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