Ministers from Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso are in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, ahead of an African Union summit, to lobby for their countries’ re-admission.
Following military coups, all three countries were expelled from the African Union and the regional grouping ECOWAS. The suspensions, according to Mali’s foreign ministry, are impeding the desire of all three Sahel countries to return to civilian rule. The ministers will not be able to attend the summit, but they have met with foreign ministers from the summit’s hosts, Ethiopia, and the Comoros Islands, which currently hold the AU presidency.
The three countries’ top diplomats said in a joint statement on Thursday that they had agreed to work together to get their suspensions from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union lifted (AU). Mali’s Abdoulaye Diop, Guinea’s Morissanda Kouyate, and Burkina Faso’s Olivia Rouamba met in the Burkinabe capital, Ouagadougou.
According to a joint statement issued after the meeting, the three countries agreed to pool their efforts and undertake joint initiatives for the lifting of the suspension measures and other restrictions imposed by ECOWAS and the AU.
Since 2020, a series of coups have occurred in the three countries, bringing in governments that have resisted external pressure to restore civilian rule, resulting in suspensions from regional groups.
The three ministers agreed on the need to combine their efforts and those of the countries of the sub-region and the region to deal with this scourge, according to the statement.
ECOWAS is putting pressure on all three countries to return to civilian rule as soon as possible. Other sanctions were also imposed on Mali and Guinea, which have since been partially lifted.
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