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ECOWAS Cracks as Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger Exit

Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger (BMN) have decided to leave the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). This comes after almost 50 years of being part of the 15-member states bloc. According to these countries, ECOWAS has failed to live up to its founding principles, which include but are not limited to the maintenance of regional peace, stability, and security through the promotion and strengthening of good neighbourliness, and the equality and inter-dependence of member states. 

Their exit also comes on the heels of military coups and grievances against the regional bloc’s inability to live up to its goals. BMN collectively accounts for just 6.88% of the total ECOWAS GDP and 9% of the total trade conducted in the region. 

Whilst the figures appear minuscule, their departure creates a crack within the bloc and further weakens the alliance against terrorism. In addition, it will lead to increased smuggling due to porous borders, and loss of access of these countries to privileges member states enjoy. 

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