Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger strengthen military ties, shun ECOWAS

6

The military leaders of Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger Republic have signed a treaty to strengthen their mutual defense pact and call for the creation of an independent African security bloc.

This development, announced during a summit in Niamey, underscored the trio’s commitment to greater integration and self-reliance in addressing regional security challenges.

The leaders — Niger’s General Abdourahmane Tchiani, Burkina Faso’s Captain Ibrahim Traore, and Mali’s Colonel Assimi Goita — hailed the newly signed confederation treaty as a step towards “greater integration” among their nations.

This treaty builds on the mutual defense pact established last year under the Alliance of Sahel States (AES).

The Niamey summit, which marked the first joint meeting of these leaders since their respective coups, came just months after the countries withdrew from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Tchiani criticised the 50-year-old ECOWAS, labeling it “a threat to our states.” ECOWAS had suspended the three countries and imposed sanctions following their military takeovers.

Tchiani emphasised the creation of a new bloc, stating, “We are going to create an AES of the peoples, instead of an ECOWAS whose directives and instructions are dictated to it by powers that are foreign to Africa.”

Traore echoed this sentiment, condemning foreign exploitation and asserting that the era of Western dominance was over.

Goita added that the strengthened alliance meant “an attack on one of us will be an attack on all the other members.”