The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) foreign ministers on Thursday, held a special meeting over the withdrawal of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger from the regional bloc.
ECOWAS Commission President Omar Alieu Touray said the meeting in Nigeria also discussed the political tension in Senegal that was triggered by protests after the president postponed the presidential election.
Part of the reason for the withdrawals is that ECOWAS has a stiffer posture on military governments in those countries, including sanctions that have been imposed.
He said ECOWAS is not an institution but a community seeking to foster unity among member states.
Nigeria Foreign Minister and Chair of the Mediation and Security Council, Yusuf Tuggar, told the Extra-ordinary Session of the Mediation and Security Council at the Ministerial Level, that ECOWAS remains committed to the survival of democracy in the region and on the African continent.
“ECOWAS commitment to addressing these challenges underscores our shared dedication to preserving the democratic principles upon which our organization stands,” he said.
Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, the three nations currently under military administrations, announced their withdrawal from ECOWAS on Jan. 27.