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Despite pleas to return, Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso military leaders celebrate divorce from ECOWAS

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Despite pleas to return, the military regimes of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso marked their divorce from the rest of West Africa Saturday, with Niger’s ruling general saying the junta-led countries have “turned their backs on” the regional bloc.

Notably, Senegal’s new President Bassirou Diomaye Faye said in late May that reconciliation between ECOWAS and the three Sahel countries was possible.

In June, his newly re-elected Mauritanian counterpart, President Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani, called on West African countries to unite again against the expansion of jihadism.

But successive summits on the same weekend raises fears of a stiffening of positions between AES and ECOWAS.

I do not see the AES countries seeking to return to ECOWAS. I think it’s ECOWAS will have to tone it down (the situation),” Nigerien lawyer Djibril Abarchi told AFP.

While AES is currently an economic and defence cooperation body, its three member countries have repeatedly expressed their desire to go further.

At the end of June, Colonel Goita assured that cooperation within the AES had taken “a path of no return” during a visit to Ouagadougou, Burkina’s capital.

The potential creation of a new common currency would also mean leaving behind the CFA franc they currently share with neighbouring countries.

“Leaving a currency zone is not easy,” warned Yabi. “Any country can change its currency, but it takes a lot of time and requires a clear political choice as well as a technical and financial preparation process.”

Issoufou Kado, a Nigerien financial expert and political analyst, agreed: “They have to be very careful, because the mechanism takes time.”

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JOLOWO BUNALAYEFA PIUS is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for BUNADY NEWSLITE GLOBAL ENTERPRISE ( He started his Blogging/Journalism career at God's Own Wireless Company 2012. He's a graduate of Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko Ondo State, with a major in History And International Studies. You can contact him for press events, advertisement promotions on Email:

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