Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger Withdraw From ECOWAS

    Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger Withdraw From ECOWAS
    Photo: Denis Doyle/Stringer/Getty Images News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso on Sunday announced their decision to leave the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The three West African countries were suspended from and hit with sanctions by ECOWAS following the overthrow of their respective democratically-elected governments.

    • In a televised joint statement, the military-run governments pointed out that their decision was made in "complete sovereignty" and accused ECOWAS of abandoning "the ideals of its founding fathers and Pan-Africanism." They also alleged that "foreign powers" were influencing the organization.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    This ill-considered move by these three countries demonstrates their preference for populist measures over a return to the rule of law. Although they have the right to criticize France and other colonial powers, their hypocritical turn to Russia as an ally is putting the region and world at greater risk.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    It's ECOWAS's fault these countries have made this decision. ECOWAS has failed to fulfill its founding mandate and find diplomatic solutions to a multitude of existing regional problems. Instead, the organization has turned into a tool of foreign interests to reinstate "democratic" puppet governments that fail at combating Islamist threats.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 61% chance that Mali will experience a successful coup d'etat before Jan. 1, 2040, according to the Metaculus prediction community,

    Establishment split



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