West African Tensions: Can ECOWAS & Junta-Led Nations Find Common Ground?

West African Tensions: Can ECOWAS & Junta-Led Nations Find Common Ground?

President Bola Tinubu has called on Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali to reconsider their decision to withdraw their membership from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

He made the appeal during an extraordinary summit of the regional bloc held in Abuja on Saturday.

In his opening address, Tinubu urged the three countries to “re-consider the decision to exit their home and not to perceive our organization as the enemy.”

He emphasised that ECOWAS must stand united to promote democracy, human rights and sustainable development across West Africa.

The withdrawals came after ECOWAS imposed sanctions on the countries over delayed elections and military coups.

Tinubu acknowledged the challenges but said they present an opportunity for ECOWAS to reaffirm its founding principles.

“I am confident that through our collective efforts and determination, we will navigate the challenges before us and chart a course towards a more peaceful, secure, and prosperous West Africa,” Tinubu told the gathered leaders.

He called for constructive dialogue and prudent judgement in addressing issues surrounding the political situations in Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali and Guinea.

The summit aimed to examine the countries’ actions while ensuring citizens are not denied benefits of regional integration.

Tinubu called for unity and collaboration among West African leaders.

He acknowledged the daunting nature of the challenges but urged member states to prioritize collective action and dialogue.

“We must stand united in our resolve to promote economic integration, democracy, and human rights, with a view to fostering sustainable development across all our member states,” he declared.

He emphasised the importance of putting the “plight of the people, the ordinary citizens” at the center of their decisions, acknowledging that democracy is “the path to addressing the basic needs and aspirations of the people.”

The Nigerian president commended Macky Sall of Senegal for agreeing to organize elections soon and abide by the court ruling to step down.

He described it as an act of courage and statesmanship.

The summit presented an opportunity for ECOWAS leaders to chart a course for stability, security and prosperity in West Africa, Tinubu said.



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