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Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso seek to rejoin regional blocs | News


The foreign ministers of the three countries said that ECOWAS sanctions ‘affect people already battered by insecurity and political instability’.

The foreign ministers of the three West African countries that have recently undergone military coups have called for their restoration into two important regional blocs following a trip to the region by Russian envoy Sergey Lavrov.

The top diplomats of Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso said in a joint statement on Thursday that they had agreed to work together to push for the lifting of the suspension on the Economic Community of Western States. Africa (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU).

Mali’s Abdoulaye Diop, Guinea’s Morissanda Kouyate and Burkina Faso’s Olivia Rouamba held talks in the Burkinabe capital Ouagadougou, after Lavrov traveled to Mali earlier this week to pledge support to the fighting West African countries. with armed groups.

The three countries have “agreed to pool their efforts and undertake joint initiatives to lift the suspension measures and other restrictions” of ECOWAS and the AU, according to a joint statement issued presented after the meeting.

A series of coups has taken place in three countries since 2020, drawing governments enraged by outside demands to restore civilian rule, leading to the suspension of regional groups.

The statement said the growing insecurity in the Sahel region led the three ministers to agree on “the need to combine their efforts and those of the countries in the sub-region and the region to deal with them.” with this calamity”.

Mali has been at odds with France, its former colonial power and traditional ally, in favor of close military ties with the Kremlin, and speculation is growing that Burkina Faso will follow suit.

“This is my first visit to Burkina Faso since the struggle of the people of Burkinabe, which led to an adjustment that allows the restoration of sovereignty and territorial integrity in this brother country,” said Mali’s Diop.

Military regimes have come to power in Mali and Burkina Faso amid military anger over the damage caused by conflict that has claimed thousands of lives and forced millions to flee their homes.

The coup in Guinea had various causes, stemming from public anger towards then-President Alpha Conde, because of his penchant for authoritarianism.

All three countries are under pressure from ECOWAS to quickly return to civilian rule.

Mali and Guinea are also subject other sanctions has been partially removed.

Diplomats criticized the sanctions, saying they “affect populations already battered by insecurity and political instability, depriving the three countries of ECOWAS and AU contributions. needed to meet the great challenges, while undermining the solidarity of the sub-region and Africa”.

During a trip to Bamako on Tuesday, Lavrov expressed admiration for the relationship formed between Mali and Russia in the fight against armed groups.

He said the Kremlin is ready to provide further assistance to the country.

“The fight against terrorism is of course a problem for other countries in the region,” Lavrov said.

“We will support them to overcome these difficulties. This concerns Guinea, Burkina Faso and Chad and the Sahel region in general and even the coastal states on the Gulf of Guinea.”

Since coming to power in 2020, Mali’s military government has brought in Russian planes, helicopters and paramilitary forces – personnel whom France says are Wagner’s mercenaries.

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