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Gowon urges ECOWAS to lift sanctions on Mali, B’Faso, Niger



Former Nigerian Head of State and one of the founding fathers of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, Yakubu Gowon, has advised the regional bloc group to lift sanctions on Mali, Burkina Faso and the Niger Republic.

Gowon appealed in an open letter to the heads of state and the ECOWAS member states on Wednesday.

ECOWAS, West Africa’s top political and regional authority, formed in 1975 to promote economic integration in member states, has struggled in recent years to reverse a wave of military takeovers in the region, including Mali in 2020 and 2021, Burkina Faso in 2022 and Niger in 2023.

Gowon, who presented the letter to the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Touray, in Abuja at a press conference, expressed concern that the pronouncement by Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger Republic to exit ECOWAS threatens the unity of the bloc and has far-reaching implications for ordinary citizens.


In the wake of a military coup in Niger in 2023, members of the 15-nation bloc (excluding the four members suspended since falling under military rule—Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali and Niger), along with the eight-member West African Economic and Monetary Union, agreed to close all borders against the country, suspend financial transactions and freeze the country’s assets in external banks.

DAILY POST recalls that the military leaders of the countries, Capt. Ibrahim Traoré (Burkina Faso), Col. Assimi Goita (Mali), and Brig. Gen. Abdourahamane Tiani (Niger Republic), had announced the formation of the Alliance of Sahel States and their exit from ECOWAS on January 28, 2023.

Gowon said: “It saddens me to learn that ECOWAS is threatened with disunity following the announcement by Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, three important member states, of their intention to leave the community.

“The impact of such a decision will have far-reaching implications for the ordinary citizens who have been the major beneficiaries of regional integration.”

Gowon called on the ECOWAS authorities to immediately consider the implementation of the “lifting of all sanctions” that have been imposed on Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali and Niger.


He also called on Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger to withdraw their notices to leave ECOWAS.

Gowon further called for a summit for the participation of all 15 ECOWAS Heads of State to discuss the future of the community.

“Therefore, on behalf of all the founding fathers of the community and myself, I urge the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, including the leaders of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, to put aside their differences and reunite for the peace, stability and prosperity of our sub-region,” Gowon said.

Source link: Daily Post

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