Lift sanctions on Mali, Burkina Faso, others – Gowon begs ECOWAS

Lift sanctions on Mali, Burkina Faso, others – Gowon begs ECOWAS
Lift sanctions on Mali, Burkina Faso, others – Gowon begs ECOWAS

Africa-Press – Nigeria. Former Nigerian Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, has urged the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, Authority of Heads of State and Government, to lift sanctions on Mali, Burkina Faso, and the Niger Republic.

Gowon, a founding father of ECOWAS, made the appeal in an open letter to the Heads of State and the ECOWAS member states in Abuja, on Wednesday evening.

The three countries slammed with sanctions by the sub-regional political-economic bloc following military takeovers in their respective countries, recently declared their decision to withdraw from the bloc.

However, while addressing a press conference at the ECOWAS Commission’s headquarters, Gowon, expressed worry that the decision by Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger Republic to exit the ECOWAS threatens the unity of the bloc with far-reaching implications for ordinary citizens.

“It saddens me to learn that ECOWAS is threatened with disunity following the announcement by Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger—three important member states of their intention to leave the community.

“The impact of such a decision will have far-reaching implications for ordinary citizens who have been the major beneficiaries of regional integration.

“The ECOWAS authorities should immediately consider the implementation of the lifting of all sanctions that have been imposed on Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, and Niger,” he said.

The former Head of State also urged the West African leaders, including leaders of the three countries planning to exit, to re-unite for peace and stability in the region.

The former Nigerian leader also presented the open letter to the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr Omar Touray.

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