Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger have confirmed plans to form a new confederation


Ministers from Burkina Faso, Mali, and the Niger Republic intend to proceed with the formation of a confederation, the Malian foreign ministry announced on Thursday.

This occurred when the three countries strengthened connections through an alliance that threatened larger West African unification.

The newest meeting comes just weeks after the impoverished Sahel region’s neighbours declared their resignation from the Economic Community of West African States in January 2024, a decision that the bloc has asked them to reconsider, warning of the additional hardships that would result.

All three were founding members of the regional union in 1975, but had been suspended due to military coups that deposed elected civilian governments.

According to Reuters, Burkina’s Defence Minister General Kassoum Coulibaly stated that the meetings in Ouagadougou were an opportunity to explore the implementation of “instruments, mechanisms, and procedures” as well as the “legal architecture for the confederation”.

General Salifou Modi, his Niger counterpart, stated that the procedures will “allow our alliance and the confederation to function efficiently and to the great joy” of the three nations’ inhabitants.

Last November, their finance ministers stated that they would consider forming a monetary union, and top officials from all three nations have shown support for abandoning West Africa’s common currency, the CFA franc.

The juntas have all abandoned long-standing military links with former colonial master France, reducing France’s influence in the Sahel and hampering international efforts to combat extremists linked to al Qaeda and the Islamic State.