The Real Reasons and How Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger Opted Out Of ECOWAS


*The implications….

Abubakar Hashim/ Freetown

All the three countries that opted out of ECOWAS yesterday, in a joint communique, are founding members of the 15 member organisation.

The organisation was founded in 1975, to foster economic cooperation, but was later broadened to tackle political and security challenges in the region.

Why, How and implications of the Military Regimes opted out from ECOWAS

Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, yesterday, in a joint communique opted out from the 49 year old organisation.


1. The biting sanctions.
All 3 three member states are landlocked. There is growing levels of hunger and malnutrition.

2. Their colonial and closest ally, France, has pulled out from these countries, creating a lacuna.

3. ⁠Their currencies, CFA, have been degraded and almost expunged from the French central treasury in Paris.

4. ⁠ECOWAS, from their perspectives, is an appendage and a stooge of Western Powers.

5. ⁠ The military regimes cited a precedent in Mauritania, who exited from ECOWAS in 2002, but was re-admitted in 2018, after intense negotiations with the organisation. So their exit is not new.

6. ⁠ECOWAS Chair, President Tinubu, is currently on a private visit to France. This appears unpalatable to the 3 countries.


1. Russia, is deeply involved in facilitating an exit strategy of these 3 countries. The hand of the Russian government in visibly seen due to the ongoing confrontation between Russia and NATO in the Ukrainian war. More importantly, Russian presence is felt in virtually all areas of cooperation in these 3 countries.
2. ⁠The exit is a deliberate strategy by the 3 government, not necessarily due to the military governments in place. As Guinea, also a military government, is not involved in the exit from ECOWAS.


1. A severe threat to ECOWAS. The three countries, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, constitute half of the land mass of ECOWAS

2. In relation to the above, it has grave security implications.

3. The exit, yesterday, is coming on the heels of US Secretary of State, Bliken’s four- West African Nation working visit, that is seen by the three nations and Russia as a threat to their geo economic interests.

4. ⁠According to ECOWAS protocols, a country can exit from the organisation, only if a one- year notice is written to ECOWAS, through the Executive Secretary. This was not followed by the three countries involved.

ECOWAS needs fast thinking as West Africa has now become a play ground for the Russians and the West.