AFBA–PRESS STATEMENT on the Decision of the Government of Mali-Niger-Burkina Faso

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The African Bar Association has received with serious concerns the decision of the Government of Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso to withdraw their Countries from the Group of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). This development is unhealthy and a threat to the Unity, Peace, Economic and Security of the Region.

While the African Bar Association is of the opinion that the block did not properly handle the events of the Military takeover in these Countries, we had expected the Military authorities in these Countries to be patient and allow diplomacy and time to heal all wounds.

The African Bar Association is in solidarity with the Peoples of these Countries, considering the inhumane nature of the Political and Economic relationships that existed to their disadvantage with their erstwhile Colonial Masters.

The promise to end this and the gradual assertion of independence in every sphere should have been a reason for the block to consider the Presentations of the Military Governments while fashioning out a strategy for quick return to democracy which has really not profited many African States.

The threats of Military invasion and Economic blockade was a big miscalculation which did not address the reasons for the Military intervention in the first place.

With their Countries turned into graveyards and battlegrounds as a result of terrorist activities, amidst economic and Political stifling by the big Powers led by their erstwhile Colonial Master, none of the fellow ECOWAS States lifted a finger to assist them only to threaten fire and brimstone when the inevitable happened.

Unfortunately, unless these withdrawals are quickly tackled and diplomacy employed, we may just be seeing the beginning of the end of ECOWAS.

In any case, withdrawal by these Countries is also a disservice to their People, they will definitely feel the pains that goes with it. The economic blockade imposed on Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso is a declaration of war on their suffering People. Democracy is not an end in itself but a means to an end.

Let wise counsel prevail.

Lagos, Nigeria.
8th February, 2024.

Hannibal Egbe Uwaifo (Esq.)

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