According to the Economic Community of West African States, the necessity to preserve regional security and unity guided the decision to lift sanctions against Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso.

After the extraordinary meeting of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government concluded in Abuja on Saturday, Dr. Omar Touray, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, made this statement.

He said that the authority considered the impact of the impending month of Ramadan and the Lenten season on the populace, and that it also received appeals from well-known figures, such as retired General Yakubu Gowon.

The authority acknowledges that the three member countries and the ECOWAS region as a whole will experience political, social, socioeconomic, financial, and institutional repercussions from the withdrawal.

The authority notes that the three nations profited from approximately $100 million in US funds that UMR raised as part of the ECOWAS counterterrorism plan of action, as part of the regional collaboration against terrorism, violent extremism, and organized crime.

Additionally, 7.5 million US dollars in funding are being allocated to help the three nations purchase the weapons they need to combat terrorism.In terms of exchanging intelligence and taking part in regional counterterrorism campaigns, security cooperation will be impacted by the pullout.

He mentioned the Multinational Joint Task Force and the Accra initiative.

In the international arena, where the nations have garnered support for their candidates running for positions abroad, Touray said that the countries’ exit from the sub-regional bloc would result in diplomatic and political isolation.

“The authorities acknowledge that the withdrawal will inevitably impact the citizens’ immigration status, as they might need to apply for visas in order to travel within the region.

“Under the ECOWAS arrangement, citizens might no longer be able to live or open businesses, and they might be subject to various national laws.The three nations will stop using biometric NID cards and brown card auto insurance in place of ECOWAS passports.

“The authority acknowledges that the three member states account for 17.4% of the 425 million people living in the region.

According to him, trade and the advantages of various regional initiatives, such as the Regional Food Security Reserve, are the main reasons why the sanctions were lifted.

Additionally beneficial to the three nations is the World Bank-funded regional support program for robust pastoralism in the Sahel, which has received 215 million US dollars in funding.”

The three nations also gain from the World Bank-funded Sahel regional irrigation support program, which has 103 million US dollars in funding.”

“The three nations are also benefiting from the 230 million dollar World Bank-funded regional food systems resilience support program.”

“An additional program that benefits the three countries is the West African Single Identity and Regional Integration and Inclusion Project.”He said that two other initiatives that benefit the nations are the West African Power Pool project, which connects member states to a regional electricity grid for better access to electricity, and the ECOWAS regional electricity market.

He declared that all ECOWAS projects and programs valued at more than $500 million would come to an end or be suspended if the sanctions were not lifted.According to Touray, the projects were worth about 321.6 million US dollars in total.

“After analyzing the institutional ramifications, the authority observes that the withdrawal will necessitate the closure of two regional organizations in Mali, four regional entities in Burkina Faso, and one regional office in Asia.

About 130 ECOWAS employees who are citizens of the three nations will also have their job security impacted.

There are currently 77 employees from Burkina Faso, 23 from Mali, and 32 from Niger.

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