We Can’t Go Back to ‘House of Slaves,’ Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger Tell ECOWAS

The military governments in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger have once again reiterated their resolve not to rejoin the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Speaking at the inaugural meeting of the Confederation of the Sahel States (AES), in Niamey on Saturday, the military leaders took turn to assure the citizens of the countries that they were determined to severe ties with what they referred to as “House of slaves.”

Their position in the face of renewed push by ECOWAS led by President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria to reintegrate the three countries back to ECOWAS.

On Monday in Abuja. ECOWAS leaders appointed President Bassirou Diomaye Faye of Senegal to lead reconciliatory efforts to bring the three nations back to the regional body.

However, speaking to a cheering crowd in Niamey, the capital of Niger Republic during the inaugural meeting of AES,  Niger’s ruling Head of State, General Abdourahamane Tiani emphatically stated that  “Our people have irrevocably turned their backs on ECOWAS.”

Addressing the crowd, Burkinabe Head of State, Burkina Faso’s Capt Ibrahim Traoré, said that the three countries have formed an alliance that is centred on the welfare and protection of their citizens from the rabid greed of imperialist forces.

Parts of his speech read:

“Imperialists view Africa as their dominion, believing they own our people, lands, and resources. Since the illusory independence granted to African nations in the 1960s, they’ve installed local proxies to maintain their control. We refer to these proxies as ‘house slaves’ – individuals whose sole aspiration is to emulate and serve their masters.”

“The Sahel Alliance has adopted a more effective strategy against jihadist forces through joint military operations. Previously, militants could attack one country and retreat to another. Now, with shared intelligence and collaborative efforts, the three countries can capitalize on their combined strengths.”

“We’re moving beyond individual national identities. Instead of citizens of Mali, Burkina Faso, or Niger, we’ll refer to ourselves as people of the AES. In this alliance, a Burkinabe or Nigerien will feel at home in Mali, and vice versa, without encountering administrative barriers.”

The three West African countries were taken over by the military between 2020 and 2023 and subsequently dissociated themselves from the ECOWAS.



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