Yakubu Gowon Urges ECOWAS to Lift Sanctions on Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso

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Former Nigerian Head of State, Gen. Dr. Yakubu Gowon GCFR, has appealed to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to remove all sanctions imposed on Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger after their recent changes in government.

In an open letter presented to Dr. Omar Alieu Touray, President of the ECOWAS Commission, Gowon emphasized the importance of unity among member states for regional peace and prosperity.

“As one of the founding leaders of ECOWAS, I must advocate for the reunification of our sub-region,” Gowon stated.

He urged ECOWAS heads of state to lift sanctions, withdraw notices to leave ECOWAS, and convene a summit to discuss the community’s future and regional security.

Gowon underscored ECOWAS’s significance, highlighting its achievements in trade liberalization and peacekeeping operations in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Expressing readiness for further engagement, Gowon called on other elders in the sub-region to join efforts to restore unity within ECOWAS.

President Touray assured Gowon that his message would be conveyed to all ECOWAS heads of state. He acknowledged the importance of Gowon’s appeal and assured that it would be discussed at an upcoming extraordinary summit.

The recent withdrawal of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger from ECOWAS following military coups has raised concerns about the bloc’s unity and purpose.

The new military leaders have accused ECOWAS of deviating from its objectives and being influenced by external powers, particularly France.

Mali’s Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralization, Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga, affirmed the irreversibility of their decision to withdraw from ECOWAS, citing the need for genuine fraternity and independence from external interference.

The situation underscores the challenges facing ECOWAS as it strives to maintain regional stability and address the concerns of member states amidst political upheavals and security threats.

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