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Mauritania pulls out of ECOWAS

[Cote d'Ivoire] Bertine Semi Lou, 42, promised to get involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS when she lost her daughter to the virus.
Bertine Semi Lou se bat pour aider les mères à protéger leur enfant de l'infection à VIH (IRIN)

Mauritania has formally withdrawn from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) bringing membership down to 15 countries, officials said on Thursday.

“They (Mauritanians) gave a one-year notice of their decision to quit in December last year, and it officially lapsed on Tuesday,” an official of the regional economic grouping told IRIN.

The withdrawal of Mauritania, which is a member of the north African Maghreb Union, leaves ECOWAS which was founded in 1975 to boost regional economic integration with 16 members comprising former French, British and Portuguese colonies. Community citizens are allowed free entry and exit without the requirement of visas for up to 90 days. They also have the right to establishment. Mauritania, whose citizens trade in many West African countries and beyond, is likely to lose these rights except where it is covered by separate bilateral agreements.

Member countries are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea and Guinea-Bissau. Others are Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.


This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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