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Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger unite in a "confederation". Why are they breaking away from the rest of the West African bloc?

The military regimes in power in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger united in a "confederation" during their first summit in Niamey on Saturday.

The decision formalizes their break with the rest of the West African bloc, informs AFP, quoted by Agerpres .

The leaders of the three countries, military installed in power following coups, " decided to move to a new stage, towards a more in-depth integration between the member states ", according to the final statement of the summit.

"For this purpose, they adopted the treaty establishing a confederation between Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger , called the Confederation of Sahel States (AES) ", the statement states.

Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger announced in January that they are withdrawing from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), an organization they consider instrumentalized by France, a former colonial power.

The establishment of this confederation confirms the rupture.

The heads of state of the ECOWAS countries are to meet on Sunday in Abuja, where the issue of relations with AES will be on the agenda of discussions.

Joint force to fight jihadists

In March, EAC countries formed a joint force to fight jihadists who regularly attack their territories.

On Saturday, the three countries also expressed their desire to "mutualize their means ", in sectors considered strategic, such as agriculture, water, energy or transport.

They also requested that local languages be used more in public and private media in their countries.

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