Sahel: ECOWAS appoints facilitators to manage crisis with Sahel States Alliance

During its summit in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, on Sunday, ECOWAS appointed Presidents Bassirou Diomaye Faye of Senegal and Faure Gnassingbé of Togo as facilitators for the Sahel States Alliance (SSA), consisting of Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso.
Simultaneously, President Umaro Sissoco Embaló of Guinea-Bissau volunteered to oversee relations with Burkina Faso, which announced at a summit in Niamey the creation of a Confederation with Mali and Niger.
The ECOWAS Commission was also tasked with developing a prospective emergency plan to examine all potential outcomes in relations with the Sahel States Alliance.
Recent developments include the creation of a confederation within the SSA by Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, reaffirming their shared intention to leave ECOWAS as announced in January 2024. ECOWAS, which held an ordinary summit on Sunday, once again warned of potential consequences of this joint exit, particularly concerning restrictions on the free movement of people and goods.
ECOWAS Commission President Omar Alieu Touray cautioned against risks of diplomatic and political isolation, as well as potential loss of significant investments for the three SSA countries. He also highlighted impacts on regional security and the establishment of a regional force, underscoring multiple threats to peace, security, and poverty alleviation in the region.