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Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger Announce New Confederation After Exiting ECOWAS




In a significant move marking a geopolitical shift in the Sahel region, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger have finalized plans to establish a new regional entity, the Confederation of the Alliance of Sahel States (CASS).

Naija News reports that this initiative is seen as a step away from their historical ties with former colonial power France and a pivot towards closer relations with Russia.

The announcement came after a meeting of the foreign ministers of the three countries in Niamey, Niger’s capital.

Niger’s Foreign Minister, Bakary Sangare confirmed the completion of a draft text that outlines the framework for institutionalizing and operationalizing the new confederation.

“We can consider very clearly, today, that the Confederation of the Alliance of Sahel States has been born,” Mali’s Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop stated during a press briefing.

The draft text is expected to be formally adopted by the heads of state at an upcoming summit, the date of which is yet to be announced.

This move follows the three nations’ withdrawal from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) earlier this year.

The trio cited the regional bloc’s departure from its founding principles and pan-Africanism.

The trio, currently governed by military regimes had expressed dissatisfaction with ECOWAS’s handling of recent political crises, including the military coups in their countries.

The creation of the CASS is a critical development amid ongoing military takeovers in the region. ECOWAS has faced challenges in its efforts to maintain stability and democratic governance among its member states.

The formation of this new alliance is viewed by many as an attempt to foster a collective approach to governance and security without the influence of traditional Western allies.

The ECOWAS Commission President, Omar Touray, responded to the developments, emphasizing that decisions were made in the interest of unity and security across the African sub-region.

As Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger align to form this new confederation, the international community watches closely, awaiting the implications this alliance will have on regional stability and diplomatic relations.