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ECOWAS court president tasks parliament on turning Mali, B/Faso, Niger to bloc

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President of the ECOWAS Court of Justice (CCJ), Justice Edward Asante, has called on the Parliament to ensure that Mali, B/Faso and Niger rescind their threat to exit the bloc.

Justice Asante stated this in a goodwill message at the formal opening of the first 2024 ordinary session of the 6th ECOWAS Parliament on Monday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the three Sahel countries had earlier in January officially communicated their decision to quit the ECOWAS after they were slammed with sanctions over military takeovers.

Asante said he was aware that the parliament had been engaged with high level officials of those states in order to ensure their overdue return to ECOWAS, through their members.

He described the effort as a noble initiative for which the parliament should be commended and which should be sustained under the 6th legislature.

“This should continue until the realization of the objective that informed the decision in the spirit of solidarity and complementarity, which is at the foundation of the Community.

“This is so that we can continue our relentless march towards the development of our region by leveraging our rich human and material resources.

“I can assure you that the Court remains available to provide whatever support that is necessary in furtherance of this and other initiatives that will preoccupy the members during the sixth legislature through its standing, joint and ad hoc committees,” Asante said.

The CCJ President noted that the session’s inauguration coincided with a period of “seismic political developments in the region, which if not appropriately managed, have grave implications for the region.”

According to him, these can potentially hamper the bloc’s efforts at democratic consolidation, regional cohesion and the integration of the region.

“These relate to the resurgence of military coups in the region and the avowed intention of the member states that have, despite our entreaties, refused to return to the Community,” he said.

Asante recalled that the Court had sought to draw attention to the scourge by providing the platform of its 2023 international conference in Banjul to discuss these threats to the region’s struggle to entrench democracy in the region.

“I am hopeful that the presentation by the President of the Commission on the Community work program during this session will enable members of parliament have further insight into the regional efforts to reintegrate the affected states into the ECOWAS family,” he added

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