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ECOWAS Parliament to set up mediation panel on Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso

The Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) announced plans to form an ad-hoc mediation committee to engage with stakeholders and encourage Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso to rejoin the sub-regional body. 

Jibrin Barau, the First Deputy Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament and Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate, disclosed this during the opening of the 2024 2nd Extraordinary Session in Kano.

Barau emphasized the urgency stressed by the President of the ECOWAS Commission for Parliament’s intervention in addressing critical issues within the West African community.

He said the proposed ad hoc mediation committee aims to collaborate with all relevant parties to persuade the three countries to reconsider their decision and rejoin ECOWAS. 

Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger have expressed their intent to establish a new regional entity, the Confederation of the Alliance of Sahel States (CASS), following their withdrawal from ECOWAS. 

They cited concerns about ECOWAS departing from its founding principles and pan-Africanism, particularly in its response to recent political crises and military coups in their respective countries, currently under military regimes.

Barau said, “The president noted the urgency of joining ongoing efforts aimed at avoiding the disintegration of the regional bloc, which could happen with the departure of Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso.

“We must heed that call with all seriousness and be intentional about playing our roles for the millions of citizens being impacted by these conflicts.

“There’s no doubt that we are stronger together and there is no alternative to our collective aspirations of a united, peaceful and secure ECOWAS.”