The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) commission says it has not receive any direct formal notification from Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger Republic about their intention to withdraw from the Community.
In a statement on Sunday, the Commission said it has been “working assiduously with these countries for the restoration of constitutional order. Burkina Faso, Niger, and Mali remain important members of the Community and the Authority remains committed to finding a negotiated solution to the political impasse”.
“The ECOWAS Commission remains seized with the development and shall make further pronouncements as the situation evolves,” the statement added.
Earlier on Sunday, the military regimes in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger announced their immediate withdrawal from the West African bloc ECOWAS, saying it has become a threat to member states.
The leaders of the three Sahel nations issued a statement saying it was a “sovereign decision” to leave the Economic Community of West African States “without delay”.
Struggling with jihadist violence and poverty, the regimes have had tense ties with ECOWAS since coups took place in Niger last July, Burkina Faso in 2022 and Mali in 2020.
All three founding members of the bloc in 1975 were suspended from ECOWAS with Niger and Mali facing heavy sanctions as the bloc tried to push for the early return of civilian governments with elections.
The sanctions were an “irrational and unacceptable posture” at a time when the three “have decided to take their destiny in hand” a reference to the coups that removed civilian administrations.
The three nations have hardened their positions in recent months and joined forces in an “Alliance of Sahel States”.
The leaders’ joint statement added that 15-member ECOWAS, “under the influence of foreign powers, betraying its founding principles, has become a threat to member states and peoples”.