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  Jibrin Ibrahim: There’s Been No Progress in ECOWAS’ Mediation Effort with Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso 

Professor Ibrahim has criticised ECOWAS for its failed mediation efforts, highlighting the lack of progress and also problematic leadership in Nigeria.

Professor Jibrin Ibrahim, Senior Fellow at the Centre for Democracy and Development, has highlighted the failure of ECOWAS in its recent mediation efforts with Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso.

During an interview with ARISE NEWS on Monday, Professor Ibrahim stated, “The communique of the Sunday ECOWAS meeting did not address the situation effectively, and there has been no progress at all in mediation efforts.

He emphasised that this outcome underscores “the failure of ECOWAS and its leadership.”

Ibrahim pointed out that the only ECOWAS leader capable of engaging with these countries is President Faye of Senegal.

However, he noted that President Faye’s mediation is problematic. “He is a good mediator and agrees with these countries that the focus should be on fighting imperialism and neo-colonialism,” Professor Ibrahim explained. “But he also disagrees with them for not returning to ECOWAS.”

The three states argue that they are the only ones ready to fight imperialism and neo-colonialism, urging President Faye to join them and abandon ECOWAS.

“President Faye is caught between two strong sentiments; he supports ECOWAS and its democratic narrative, but he also supports the anti-imperialism stance of these three countries,” said Ibrahim.

Professor Ibrahim criticised ECOWAS for committing “the most serious mistake” by issuing the ultimate threat of military intervention without a basis in its regulations and procedures. He explained that the three states are among the poorest in Africa and are highly dependent on their southern neighbours, making their departure from ECOWAS impractical.

“They are bluffing, but because they are taking concrete action, that bluff may turn into reality,” he added.

Morocco has offered these countries passage to the sea via the port in Western Sahara, which it controls by force. However, Ibrahim is sceptical about the feasibility of this solution given the distance involved. He expressed hope that effective mediation by President Faye could bring both sides together, as the departure of these countries has significantly weakened ECOWAS.

ECOWAS withdrew all sanctions and assured the three countries that they meant no harm, but received no response. Ibrahim noted the controversial nature of ECOWAS’ threat to use force with just one week’s notice, bypassing its usual procedure of sanctions. This move has fuelled the perception that ECOWAS is an agent of imperialism, making the three military leaders popular and ECOWAS unpopular within their nations.

The economic impact of this separation is beginning to hit the three countries, and Ibrahim warned that Nigeria’s internal security is also at risk.

“This is one of the most complex and difficult times to navigate,” he said, expressing concern over Nigeria’s positioning in this situation.

Ibrahim also commented on the broader geopolitical moves, noting that countries like India are strategically aligning themselves. He criticised Nigerian leaders for believing they could convince foreign investors to come to the country without addressing fundamental issues like internal security and rule of law.

 “More and more companies are folding up and withdrawing from Nigeria because they are not making a profit,” he said.

“The rise of hunger in Nigeria is brewing the seeds of a catastrophic situation where nobody can predict the direction it could take.”


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