Niger Crisis

Niger and the African struggle against neo-colonialism
By Sammy Ismail
Niger gained independence from French colonialism back in 1960, however, it has remained ensnared with the yoke of neo-colonialism; which is evidenced by the persistent colonial-type practices of resource exploitation, financial hegemony, and military presence.
The recent events in Niger and the consequent regional implications in West Africa at large had brought back to the forefront of popular discourse the prospects of decolonization and liberation. The coup in Niger, and those in Mali and Burkina Faso prior, exposed France's persistent relations of colonial-type exploitation to the international public. The military coups all follow the same pattern of rejecting French neo-colonialism in favor of national sovereignty. Read More

The Niger crisis and the global threat of war
By Thomas Scripps
The impoverished West African state of Niger is the latest flashpoint in the struggle by the imperialist powers for a redivision of the world. The issues involved in the NATO-Russia war in Ukraine—a fight for territory, strategic resources and regime change—are erupting all over the globe, in China and Taiwan, and now in the Sahel region of Africa.
A great deal is at stake. The United States currently has 1,500 soldiers of its 6,500-strong declared African deployment stationed in Niger across two bases—one of which is the regional hub for drone missions. France has 1,100 troops in the country, Italy 300 and Germany around 100. Niger is a major uranium producer, providing a quarter of Europe’s supply. It is due to start exporting oil and plays a central role in policing migration out of Africa to Europe. It has become a frontline state in a battle for economic and military pre-eminence in West Africa and across the whole continent. Read More

Niger: A Coup Against French Control and Dominance
By Dr. Chandra Muzaffar: France’s grip over Niger’s uranium is just one example of the former colonial power’s hold on Niger’s economy. This neo-colonial dominance expresses itself in many other ways. Niger, like other ex-French colonies in Africa, is tied to the French currency and the French financial system. It uses the Communaute Financiere Africaine (CFA) for its domestic and foreign financial transactions. As feelings against France in particular and the West in general have become more pronounced in West Africa, the mood towards Russia seems to have become more positive. An article in The Guardian (5 August 2023) notes that “Russian flags were brandished by those demonstrating outside the French embassy in Niamey, with many calling for Vladimir Putin to replace Macron as their biggest global backer.” Read More

France never stopped looting Africa, now the tables are turning
By Brad Pearce: The 26 July coup in the West African nation of Niger, which threatens to undermine French and US military presence in the region, has shed light on the historical exploitation and continued practices of Francafrique - the term used to describe the persistent exploitation by the former French Empire in Africa…. As developments in West Africa demonstrate, the francophone countries are no longer willing to accept French neo-colonialism. With the fear factor finally removed, Africa’s quest for genuine independence is steadily coming to fruition. Read More

French Invasion of Niger could Turn Into an “All-out Franco-African War”?
By Drago Bosnic: Paris is now faced with a strategic dilemma. If it lets Niger continue its path toward actual independence, France will be unable to continue exploiting the country’s natural resources. Namely, several of its former colonies have served as a source of massive wealth extraction and given the recent troubles Paris is facing, these resources might be more important than ever. On the other hand, recent geopolitical changes in the area have left France largely impuissant. After the defeat of its nearly decade-long intervention in Chad last year, Paris has been left with bases in Ivory Coast, Senegal and Gabon. Neither of these can be used effectively as a staging ground for an invasion due to the limited number of troops stationed there. Read More

Niger is the fourth country in the Sahel to experience an anti-western coup
by Vijay Prashad
The coup in Niger follows similar coups in Mali (August 2020 and May 2021) and Burkina Faso (January 2022 and September 2022), and Guinea (September 2021). Each of these coups was led by military officers angered by the presence of French and U.S. troops and by the permanent economic crises inflicted on their countries. This region of Africa—the Sahel—has faced a cascade of 
crises: the desiccation of the land due to the climate catastrophe, the rise of militancy due to the 2011 NATO war in Libya, the increase in smuggling networks to traffic weapons, humans, and drugs across the desert, the appropriation of natural resources—including uranium and gold—by Western companies that have simply not paid adequately for these riches, and the entrenchment of Western military forces through the construction of bases and the operation of these armies with impunity. Read More

Seasons of Transformation

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