Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso forms closer ties, move away from thewider regional group, Ecowas.

The military leaders of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger have hailed a newly signed
treaty as a step “towards greater integration” between the three countries, in the
latest showing of their shift away from traditional regional and Western allies.

The three men are meeting together for the first time to cement an alliance created in
the face of opposition from neighbouring countries. Soldiers took power in Mali,
Burkina Faso and Niger in a series of coups from 2020 to 2023.
During a summit in the Nigerien capital of Niamey on Saturday, the three leaders
signed a confederation treaty that aims to strengthen a mutual defence
pact announced last year, the Alliance of Sahel States (AES).

The signing capped the first joint summit of the leaders – Niger’s General
Abdourahmane Tchiani, Burkina Faso’s Captain Ibrahim Traore, and Mali’s Colonel
Assimi Goita – since they came to power in successive coups in their bordering West
African nations.
It also came just months after the three countries withdrew from the Economic
Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regional bloc in January.
Speaking at the summit on Saturday, Tchiani called the 50-year-old ECOWAS “a
threat to our states”.

All three countries – which now form the AES – have been affected by jihadist
violence, in part a reason given for the army takeovers. Speaking at Saturday’s
meeting, the country's leader, Gen Abdourahmane Tchiani, said that in the place of
ECOWAS, the junta chiefs wanted to build a community of sovereign peoples "far
from the control of foreign powers. A community of peace, solidarity, prosperity
based on our African values.” Gen Tchiani is hosting the talks with Burkina Faso’s
Capt Ibrahim Traoré and Mali’s Col Assimi Goïta.
In a message on X, the Burkinabé leader said that "together, we will consolidate the
foundations of our true independence”. Speaking at the summit, Capt Traoré went on
to say that "this continent has suffered and continues to suffer from the fire of the
imperialists. These imperialists have only one cliché in mind: 'Africa is the empire of

Author: Mpheza Clara Manda

Luska, Zambia

Senior Correspondent


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