NewsAfricaECOWAS and AU: Burkina Faso, Mali and Guinea want their suspension lifted

ECOWAS and AU: Burkina Faso, Mali and Guinea want their suspension lifted

Published on : 02/10/2023 – 00:39

Burkina, Mali and Guinea, three countries suspended from ECOWAS and the African Union after successive takeovers by the military in 2020, 2021 and 2022, wished Thursday the lifting of their suspension from these organizations.

Burkina Faso, Mali and Guinea, three countries led by soldiers from coups d’état, on Thursday (February 9th) wanted their suspension from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to be lifted and of the African Union (AU).

These three countries “have agreed to pool their efforts and undertake joint initiatives for the lifting of the suspension measures and other restrictions” taken by ECOWAS and the AU, indicates a joint statement drafted after a meeting. of their foreign ministers in Ouagadougou.

They had been suspended from these two organizations after the successive takeovers by the military in 2020, 2021 and 2022. Mali and Guinea had also been subject to other sanctions, partly lifted since.

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“As part of the fight against insecurity in the Sahelo-Saharan strip”, the three ministers “raised the need to combine their efforts and those of the countries of the sub-region and the region to deal with this scourge “, adds the statement, read by the head of Burkinabe diplomacy Olivia Rouamba.

Olivia Rouamba, the Malian Abdoulaye Diop and the Guinean Morissanda Kouyaté, “call for a consistency of actions at the regional level, on the basis of the bilateral efforts already implemented”. They deplored “mechanically imposed sanctions that do not take into account the deep and complex causes of political change”.

“Populations already bruised”

These sanctions “affect populations already bruised by insecurity and political instability, deprive ECOWAS and the AU of the contribution of the three countries necessary to meet the major challenges, and undermine the sub-regional and African solidarity which constitutes the cardinal principle of integration, regional and continental cooperation”. They call for “concrete and substantial technical and financial support for security efforts and to support the process of returning to constitutional order”, theoretically planned for 2024 in Mali and Burkina Faso, in 2025 in Guinea.

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According to Morissanda Kouyaté, “we already belong to bodies, ECOWAS and the African Union, we are not going to reinvent the wheel”. “It is not acceptable that 60 years after independence, there are three of us here discussing these issues,” said Abdoulaye Diop.

The meeting in Ouagadougou took place two days after the visit to Mali on Tuesday by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who promised his aid “to the Sahelo-Saharan region and even to the countries bordering the Gulf of Guinea”.

The series of coups in Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso, and the instability of the Sahel plagued by jihadist violence, despite the deployment of international forces, have paved the way for the Russian presence.

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After Mali, Burkina has also been bloodied by jihadist violence and, like its neighbour, it has just requested the departure of the 400 members of the French forces from its territory, without however considering the rupture of diplomatic relations with France, ex -colonial power in the region where it is increasingly reviled.

Both countries have moved closer to Russia. According to Westerners, mercenaries from the Russian Wagner group are deployed in Mali, which Bamako denies, which only recognizes the presence of Russian instructors.

Captain Ibrahim Traoré, Burkinabè head of state, also denied the presence of Wagner mercenaries in Burkina, saying that “our Wagners are the VDPs”, Volunteers for the Defense of the Fatherland, the civilian auxiliaries of the army.

With AFP

Source: France 24


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