A coalition of Civil Society Organisations, has recommended dialogue as a solution to curb the seeming disintegration of members of the Economic Community of West African States, and the restoration of democratic rule in Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso.
The coalition consisted the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), West Africa Civil Society Forum (WACSOF) and Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), have
They made this recommendation during a one-day media interactive session, yesterday in Lagos State, to discuss and proffer solutions to the disintegration currently going on among members of the ECOWAS
In a communique issued at the end of the session, signed by the Executive Director, CISLAC, Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani), the General Secretary, of West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF), Kop’ep Dabugat and a representative from the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), Najaatu Mohammed, they recommend dialogue as a solution in restoring democratic rule to Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso, who recently opted out of ECOWAS
The communique read: “We have watched with dismay the events surrounding the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the recent announcement of the withdrawal of the Republic of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso from the regional community.
“While CSOs continue to condemn in totality military rule in the region rather than resorting to constitutional measures, the threat of gradual disintegration of a community which had hitherto served as best practice template for regional integration in Africa cannot be overlooked.
“It is imperative for Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso, and indeed the rest of the member states of ECOWAS to have a deep reflection over the collective milestones of the regional integration collectively achieved, including peace missions to member states; free mobility of people, goods and services; trade enhancement through the removal of customs duties and tariffs on commodities; as well as collective infrastructural development efforts such as the West African power pool leading to the construction of Diama and Manatali dams in Senegal and Mali respectively.
“At a time when the region is advancing discussions of a single market to further boost trade and development, it is completely disheartening to see leaders shun the channel of diplomacy and dialogue and instead attempt to disintegrate the community.”
In pursuit of a more integrated and stronger community of states in the West African region, the CSOs called on the authorities of Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso to rescind their decisions to withdraw from ECOWAS.
They also urged state and non-state actors in the region to intensify engagements towards ensuring a more united ECOWAS.