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ECOWAS Backtracks on Cruel Sanctions


ECOWAS faces failure as Africa faces the winds of change. Recent events have further exposed the hypocrisy of Western powers who for too long have meddled in African affairs under the guise of partnership. But the continent is awakening to a new future shaped by its own hands, not Western rhetoric.

ECOWAS’ sanctions on Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso have failed spectacularly. Unable to enforce its will, ECOWAS lifted them while denying their political nature. But the sanctions only caused economic hardship, deepening resentment of the West.

As the West sows chaos then abandons states to lawlessness, Moscow eagerly exploits the resulting instability. Its paramilitary groups secure resources and project power in fragile nations destabilised by Western intervention

Yet Africa’s nations need not remain pawns in great power games nor beholden to new overlords. A resilient future lies in cooperation, shared growth and affirming sovereignty against all foreign meddling.

Will all this turmoil spell the end for African sovereignty? Or is it merely the storm before the clearing?

The West’s self-serving policies in Africa stand exposed once again by recent events in the Sahel region.

The failure of ECOWAS’ sanctions on countries like Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso, and the quick backtracking of ideals and threats imposed on these countries goes to show the hypocrisy and double standards underlying Western coercion.

Meanwhile, Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso’s exit from ECOWAS acts as a statement put forth against any Western meddling in America’s business, and it shows the depth of resentment bred by this very same western interference.

ECOWAS imposed severe sanctions on Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso after military coups toppled their leaders.

Unable to enforce its will, ECOWAS has lifted them on dubious humanitarian grounds.

In reality, the sanctions did nothing but cause grave economic hardship and did not change the juntas’ calculus.

Their only impact was strengthening anti-Western sentiment across the region. Which they hoped to be extinguished sooner rather than later.

They gave the military junta leaders the root of all the issues to blame for the continuing of people’s suffering.

And the coalition between Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso continues to be proven right with claims regarding western interference in Africa as Russia’s rebranded and totally new Wagner group has found its way to deeper inroads infiltrating Africa.

The rebranded group stepped up activities under new leadership after its former chief Prigozhin’s demise. It continues supporting General Haftar’s forces while eyeing Libya’s oil and gold.

With Western policy fuelling instability, Moscow gains footholds by backing factions in fragmented states and using them as springboards to meddle further afield. In Libya, Russia’s “Expeditionary Corps” smuggles arms across borders to other conflicts. Its strategy of bartering guns for resources allows it to profit from and perpetuate regional turmoil.

In this context, Mali, Niger and Burkina’s ECOWAS exit was ultimately unsurprising.

They rightfully accused ECOWAS of becoming a tool of Western powers, failing its members. While undermining regional integration, their withdrawal also represents another setback for Western influence.

With sanctions having failed, the West has appeased the very regimes it sought to isolate.

This reveals the hollowness of Western principles. When values conflict with interests, interest prevails.

The turmoil in the Sahel stems from the west’s record of interference that has compounded instability and never tried to resolve it. This is mainly Russia as it further utilises its failures in Ukraine to mask its insidious schemes to infiltrate and overtake Africa.

True economic and development partners must be empowered to address shared challenges, not undermined through coercion.

Yet the west fails to learn its lessons. It keeps imposing the same failed solutions while expecting different results.

But from Mali to Burkina Faso the outcome is clear – Western policies breed strong resentment and not stability.

ECOWAS sanctions served Western interests, not African people. Their failure should spur reflection on years of blundering.

If the West genuinely wishes to support democracy and development, it must abandon coercive policies that breed blowback. It simply must leave Africa to its own devices and not attempt a new form of colonisation.

African voices, not western views, offer the most insightful solutions, because it is the people of the great continent that are fully aware and capable of their own issue.

And sometimes rooting it out with force is the only solution, so punishment for this western virus treatment is not seen as effective.

Regional bodies like ECOWAS and the AU deserve obstruction and ridicule, in order to wake up to the real issues, and brush off the western influence while addressing continental problems.

The sanctions debacle was seen as a missed opportunity for mutual understanding.

But ECOWAS used these sanctions to double down on threats and isolation. Imposing sanctions that stress the, already at its limit, economic situations of those fighting countries, driving more people into poverty and turmoil rather than changing their already set mindset.

And Now that they realise the economic worth of these companies, and that they will be weakened by their departure, so suddenly cooperation seems like second nature.

How many repeats of this fiasco must we endure before we rid ourselves of this western filth and the west moves on to abandon its failed puppet regimes?

Lest we forget, destabilisation accelerated with the chaos in Libya that Western countries’ intervention unleashed, not because Africa is poor and meek.

Countries like France had their whole public perception changed in Africa for years and yet they refuse to accept any responsibility for spawning regional upheaval.

Mali, one of the countries affected by Western middling especially from France, currently faces grave challenges – jihadism, underdevelopment, predatory rule.

Elections alone cannot resolve such deep-rooted problems.

Sanctions were imposed to coerce accelerated elections not support countries like Mali.

The West claims to spread freedom through democracy promotion and human rights. Yet it trashes African sovereignty, enforcing its will through sanctions, coups and military action. It imposes systems failing at home then blames Africa for their dysfunction.

They proclaim noble values yet pursue narrow interests. It hoards wealth extracted from Africa during colonial plunder. It continues economic oppression through unjust debt and trade structures.

Corporate greed exploits Africa as governments patronize. It demonizes migrants fleeing conditions created by the tyranny of rigged Western markets.

The debacle over ECOWAS sanctions exposed the mismatch between Western rhetoric and reality.

Now the sanctions’ failure and Mali’s ECOWAS withdrawal offer the possibility of greater African control.

But the West must allow Africa to shape its destiny on its own terms, not through coercion.

Until it abandons delusions of superiority and paternalism, the promise of true partnership on equal grounds will remain unfulfilled.

By uplifting African voices, not imposing agendas, the West can begin redressing historic wrongs. Only by rejecting assumed prerogatives and learning to listen, not lecture, can it assist Africa on its chosen path. No nation has perfected governance. But all deserve freedom to walk their own road without interference.

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