Mali Reaffirms No Return To ECOWAS


Col. Assimi Goita, Head of Mali’s military junta.

Mali government has reaffirmed the irreversible exit of the country, alongside Burkina Faso and Niger from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), in spite of the bloc’s reconciliatory efforts.

Mali’s Foreign Minister, Abdoulaye Diop, made this disclosure on state broadcaster ORTM, stating that Mali remained open to cooperation with ECOWAS but expressed concerns over the possible introduction of visas for nationals of the three countries within ECOWAS.

The military leaders of these three nations broke away from ECOWAS earlier this year and established their own confederation on Saturday.

ECOWAS heads of state convened in Abuja a day later, appointing the Presidents of Senegal and Togo as mediators to initiate dialogue with the three Sahel states.

The decision to leave ECOWAS was partially driven by accusations against France for manipulating the bloc and failing to support anti-militant efforts.

Diop emphasised the irrevocable nature of their withdrawal, urging a forward-looking approach.

He highlighted Mali’s willingness to work with neighbours and other organisations sharing their regional space, adding that the formation of the confederation was only a step towards creating a federation of the three states.

Despite ECOWAS insistence on a one-year exit timeframe, the juntas have declared their withdrawal effective immediately.

This move raises concerns about the free movement of goods and people within the region.

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