The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) convened an extraordinary session to address the withdrawal of three coup-hit countries and Senegal’s delayed elections, highlighting concerns over regional stability. While ECOWAS urged unity and cautioned against the departure of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, who announced their withdrawal from the group last month, representatives from these nations were notably absent from the meeting.
Senegal’s decision to postpone elections further compounded the situation, with observers expressing worry about the country’s escalating political crisis. Despite calls from ECOWAS, the United States, and the European Union for Senegal to adhere to its election timetable, questions arose about the regional bloc’s influence over increasingly defiant member states.
While ECOWAS has the authority to impose trade sanctions, its handling of political upheavals in the region has faced scrutiny, raising doubts about its broader role and efficacy in restoring stability. However, discussions on sanctioning Senegal did not occur during the meeting, signaling a cautious approach by ECOWAS in navigating the complex political landscape in West Africa.