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West Africa and Sahel

Planned exit of Mali, others from ECOWAS heartbreaking

The Vice President of ECOWAS Commission, Damtien Tchintchibidja, has described the threat of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger to quit the bloc as sad and heartening.

Tchintchibidja made this known on Monday in Abuja.

She, however, said that ECOWAS was doing all it could to make the three countries rescind their threat to exit, and described the efforts as “work in progress.”

“Well, it’s still a work in progress, quite frankly, for us it’s heartbreaking to know that three member states would like to exit from this community.

“We are stronger as a community. It’s like a family. You know, you’re always stronger when the family is unified, united.

“And for us, we are still working at it, you know, we still engage in negotiations with these member states to ensure that they remain within our community.

“But even if they were to leave, they still remain our brothers and sisters.

“As you know, our borders are porous, where citizens have families all across our borders, and we are all one people,” Tchintchibidja said.

Earlier in January, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger in January wrote to ECOWAS to notify it of their decision to quit the subregional bloc.

The Commission had slammed various sanctions on the three countries over the military takeover of power in their countries, which their military leaders considered unbearable.

Meanwhile, ECOWAS has since February lifted the sanctions, which now pave the way for resolving the quit threat controversy.

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