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West Africa trade will take a hit as Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso leave Ecowas

West Africa trade will take a hit as Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso leave Ecowas

THE membership of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) has been whittled down from 15 to 12 following the unilateral withdrawal of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso in February. Founded in 1975, Ecowas is one of eight regional economic communities recognised by the African Union to foster regional integration on the continent. Its main objective is to create a single, large trading bloc through economic cooperation. Since 1975, Ecowas and its sister organisation the West African Economic and Monetary Union (known by its French acronym, Uemoa) have implemented numerous policies aimed at improving how west African countries trade…
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Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso dumps Ecowas

Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso dumps Ecowas

THE political and economic unity of West Africa, a powerful bloc within Africa, was thrown up in the air after three powerful states took a monumental decision this weekend.  Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso, three West African countries currently under military rule, have signed a confederation treaty, solidifying their intent to pursue a path independent of the regional Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Reuters reports that the signing took place at the inaugural summit of the Alliance of Sahel States (AES), marking a closer alignment between these nations in the insurgency-affected central Sahel region. The news agency notes…
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Niger attack kills 21, highlights post-coup security troubles

Niger attack kills 21, highlights post-coup security troubles

NIGER has announced three days of national mourning after an attack in a jihadist stronghold in the western Tillaberi region caused the deaths of at least 20 soldiers and one civilian. Nine other people were wounded in the attack, which authorities have blamed on a coalition of armed groups, without giving any specific names. The raid took place in the village of Tassia, which is close to the border with Burkina Faso. The incident highlights the growing challenges facing the ruling junta, which came to power in July 2023, overthrowing the civilian government led by Mohamed Bazoum, who remains detained in the…
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Niger’s ousted president loses immunity, say lawyers

Niger’s ousted president loses immunity, say lawyers

NIGER'S ousted President Mohamed Bazoum has been stripped of his immunity by the State Court of Niamey, a move that signals the ruling junta will launch criminal proceedings against him, his lawyers said on Friday. Bazoum was toppled in a military coup last July. He and his wife have since been held in detention, despite repeated calls from the regional political and economic bloc ECOWAS and Western powers for his release. One of his lawyers, Moussa Coulibaly, announced the court's decision in a statement and said it paved the way for the court to prosecute Bazoum for treason and conspiracy…
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Niger and China sign crude oil MOU worth $400 mln

Niger and China sign crude oil MOU worth $400 mln

NIGER has signed a memorandum of understanding with Chinese state-owned oil giant China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) worth $400 million linked to the sale of crude oil from its Agadem oilfield, Niger state television RTN reported late on Friday. RTN did not provide details on the agreement. Niger's military authorities and CNPC could not be reached for comment. "China is a great friend to Niger; we can never say it enough," Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine said at the signing ceremony, which was broadcast by RTN. "This signature demonstrates the friendship ... and…
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Putin discusses security cooperation with West and Central African leaders

Putin discusses security cooperation with West and Central African leaders

RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin discussed security and economic cooperation with Mali's junta leader Assimi Goita by phone, both countries said, a day after Putin held a similar call with the junta leader in neighbouring Niger. "We discussed bilateral issues, particularly the security and economic areas," Goita wrote on X. "We agreed to cooperate further in the fight against terrorism." The Kremlin confirmed the call and said the two leaders agreed to forge closer ties. Mali has in recent years become one of Russia's closest African allies, with the Wagner Group mercenary force deploying there to fight jihadist insurgencies rebels in…
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US warned Niger about ties to Russia, Iran before junta revoked accord, Pentagon says

US warned Niger about ties to Russia, Iran before junta revoked accord, Pentagon says

U.S. officials travelled to Niger last week to express concerns about the country's potential development of ties to Russia and Iran before the ruling junta revoked an accord governing the roughly 1,000 U.S. military personnel there, the Pentagon said. The Pentagon added it was seeking clarification about the way ahead. Niger said on Saturday it had revoked "with immediate effect" its military accord with the United States that had allowed Pentagon personnel to operate on its soil. Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh said the U.S. government had "direct and frank" conversations in Niger ahead of the junta's announcement, and was continuing…
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Niger revokes military accord with US, junta spokesperson says

Niger revokes military accord with US, junta spokesperson says

Niger's ruling junta has revoked with immediate effect a military accord that allows military personnel and civilian staff from the U.S. Department of Defense on its soil, junta spokesperson Colonel Amadou Abdramane said. The decision follows a visit by U.S. officials this week which was led by Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Molly Phee and included General Michael Langley, commander of the U.S. Africa Command. Abdramane, speaking on television in the West African nation, said the U.S. delegation did not follow diplomatic protocol, and that Niger was not informed about the composition of the delegation, the date of…
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Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger hint at a new west African currency: what it’ll take for it to succeed

Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger hint at a new west African currency: what it’ll take for it to succeed

ON 11 February 2024, the head of Niger’s ruling military junta, General Abdourahmane Tiani, spoke of the possible creation of a common currency with Burkina Faso and Mali. “The currency is a first step toward breaking free from the legacy of colonisation,” he said on national TV, referring to the CFA franc inherited from French colonisation. THIERNO THIOUNE, enseignant-chercheur, directeur du CREA, Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali, three former French colonies, have experienced military coups in recent years. They’re now all ruled by military regimes. They also formed a new defence alliance, known as…
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