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Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger will reverse decision on ECOWAS exit - Ndume

In January, Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso announced their withdrawal from the ECOWAS following their earlier suspension from the bloc due to coups and pressure to restore democratic governance.

Senator Ali Ndume has expressed optimism that Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger would return to the ECOWAS fold. [Facebook/Getty Images]

Senator Ndume, who is one the longest-serving members of the ECOWAS parliament, stated this in an interview with journalists on the sideline of the ongoing ECOWAS Parliament Extraordinary session taking place in Kano, North West Nigeria,

He disclosed that the country’s timeout is undoubtedly over now, as all that is needed to bring them back into the fold is now in place.

Senator Ndume, the Chief Whip of the Nigerian Senate, emphasised that the issues which caused tension and led to the departure of three countries from the bloc have been resolved.

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He stated that Niger is no longer upset with its fellow West African nations, particularly Nigeria, and is prepared to rejoin the group.

The lawmaker said: “The bad blood which led to the decision to leave has since been drained, and Niger is no longer annoyed with sister West African countries, especially Nigeria, and as such, the country, from all indications, is ready to come back.”

He pointed out that the choice to exit the bloc was made following the condemnation of the coup in Niger by all ECOWAS member states and the subsequent imposition of sanctions on the country.

“The ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government led by President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria lifted the restrictions and bans; it is now left to the three countries to reciprocate.

“The Parliament is playing its role, as I told you; we had an ad hoc committee even from the previous parliament looking into this issue, and we are receiving positive results.

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“I am personally involved, and there is hope, and very soon, we will get back together as we are in the process of resolving it,” Senator Ndume said.

In January, Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso announced their withdrawal from the ECOWAS following their earlier suspension from the bloc due to coups and pressure to restore democratic governance.

During a public statement, the three nations described their decision to leave the regional organisations as a “sovereign decision” made in the best interest of their citizens.

The military junta in Mali seized power in August 2020, while Burkina Faso experienced a coup in September 2022.

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In July 2023, soldiers in Niger ousted the democratic government, leading ECOWAS to impose sanctions on these three Sahelian countries.

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