Three West African nations, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, withdraw from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The military regimes of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger declared their swift exit from ECOWAS, citing the organization as a threat to member states. The leaders of these Sahel nations stated that the decision to leave the Economic Community of West African States was a “sovereign” choice, revealing strained relations due to coups in Mali (2020), Niger (2021), and Burkina Faso (2022), coupled with challenges like jihadist violence and poverty.

ECOWAS affirmed its commitment to resolving the political impasse with Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger through negotiations, as stated in a release on 28 January 2024. However, the organization clarified that it had not received any official notification of the withdrawal from the three founding members. Despite their suspension and facing sanctions for the coup-led removal of civilian governments, the three nations labeled the sanctions as “irrational and unacceptable,” asserting their determination to shape their own destinies.