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Monday, February 26, 2024

Malian junta forcefully mobilizing youths to support ECOWAS exit

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To garner support for its abrupt exit from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Malian Government is planning to force the Malian youths to raise support for its exit from the Bloc. 

However, a letter leaked to the Press shows that the Malian government through its agents are forcing Malian citizens to support the purported exit. The translation of the letter reads that “The Malian government, through the Minister of Youth and Sports, calls for popular mobilization to support the decision to withdraw from ECOWAS from Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger on Thursday, February 1, 2024, simultaneously in all regions from Mali”

The action being taken by the Malian authorities is an attempt to develop a narrative that the ECOWAS is being controlled by the West powers, and thus it is a new tool of neocolonialism. But many see this latest action as propaganda to garner support from the local population who are not consulted before the decision to withdraw from the ECOWAS was made, and many people are too scared to express their views for fear of brutal crackdown from the repressive junta.

This letter goes to show that the actions of the Troika that have decided to leave ECOWAS are contrived and against the will of the people.

It would be recalled that Mali and Burkina Faso have announced that they had sent the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) a “formal notice” of their withdrawal from the regional bloc, with Niger expected to follow.

The military regimes in the three countries had announced plans to withdraw from the West African bloc, accusing it of posing a threat to their sovereignty. But despite their withdrawal notice, the three countries are still grappling with insecurity, humanitarian, and economic isolation.

There have been calls for the 3 countries to rethink their position from all over Africa. Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs already signaled that it is still open for diplomatic solution to the crisis. The ECOWAS also said that it is trying to find a negotiated settlement to the issue. However, the bloc also made clear that it would compromise on its efforts to continue to work with the member states in order to further strengthen cooperation and restore economic stability and economic development to the region.

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat learned with deep regret of the announcement of the withdrawal of Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso from ECOWAS,” the AU said in a statement.

“(He) calls for combined efforts so that the irreplaceable unity of ECOWAS is preserved and African solidarity strengthened.”

He urged regional leaders to intensify dialogue between the ECOWAS leadership and the three countries and said the AU was available to help.

It is believed that similar activities have been planned to take place across Burkina Faso and Niger Republic.

There is fear that the military authorities of these countries could target people who do not support withdrawal from the ECOWAS

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