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Is Ecowas breaking up?

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Recent events in the subregion have led to fears of the Ecowas bloc disintegrating. This comes on the heels of three countries Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger announcing breaking away from ECOWAS and forming their own bloc. This is certainly a very serious problem as it signals a possible disintegration of the West African regional body.

In this challenged and complex world, it is becoming increasingly clear that forming and maintaining regional blocs like Ecowas is not only essential but inescapable if any country wishes to ward off existential threats like terrorism and internal crimes.

The bloc is not only extremely useful for the purposes of economic integration but essential for joint efforts to fight terrorism and cross border collaborations to stop criminals from harming the state or its citizens. As it is said, there is power in unity.

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Admittedly, many observers view the ECOWAS as a toothless bulldog when it comes to trying to stop military takeovers and endemic maladministration, but pulling out and disengaging is not the solution at all. There has to be a better way to resolve issues when they arise.

In a meeting of heads of state in Abuja last week, leaders decried the announcement of those three countries that they were going it their own way. It was said that it might well mean the beginning of the end for the regional bloc and that efforts should be made to bring them back to the fold, as it were.

Towards that end, the Senegalese president, Mr. Diomaye Faye was tasked to engage those countries and serve as a go-between in order to see what can and should be done to readmit them. The problems of ECOWAS are as a result of the divide that is now seen in the world after Russia invaded Ukraine and the world becoming bipolar.

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Some countries look to America and the West while many others, now including those three West African States, are looking towards Russia for cooperation.

There is a serious danger in this trend and the leaders in the West African countries must endeavor to ensure that the region is not wedged between those two sides. 

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