With Ukraine dominating the news, it might have been easy to miss that there will almost defiantly be a war the west African nation of Niger, this war though and the reasoning behind it should not be ignored. The struggle of Niger is one against imperialism.
So, what are the causes and what is most likely to happen next?
Context to War in Niger
Everyone from ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) to the USA and of course former colonial overlords France have come out against the coup in Niger, on the face of it because it replaced a democratically elected government.
Niger a huge country of 25 million people was formerly a colony of France, before being given independence in 1960. Sadly said independence was a charade, with France retaining control over the nations natural resources, principally uranium.
What was to follow in essence mirrored that of much of the rest of Africa, governments that enriched themselves above their people and for the most part danced to the tune of the west. There were also many a coup, many of which that had more than just tacit support from the west.
This was the case with the most recently overthrown government of Mohamed Bazoum.
The Coup against Mohamed Bazoum
On July 26th Nigerian military officer Abdourahamane Tchiani with the help of the Presidential Guard took over the country in a bloodless coup. The reasoning for the coup were essentially anti-colonialist in nature, with a sated desire to end their subjugation by the French, change alliance to Russia and end poverty.
Yes, this is on the face of it at least a popular coup against a corrupt system that only benefits a few, particularly France.
From said relationship the French state-owned nuclear power company has amonpoly on the Uranian mines of Niger, with nuclear power fueling a reported one-third of French houses. Know the term banana Republic? Niger was at least until the coup a Uranian Republic, and one which hosted both French and US military bases.
And all the while Niger not only remained in the top ten poorest countries in the world, but perversely one of the lowest users of electricity. Now while this might create a paradox for the “just Stop Oil” mob, it also was the very essence of Neo-colonialism.
This is not about democracy
The coup was initially condemned by France, who promised military action, only to realize they were openly playing their colonialist card, as well the dual suspects such as the USA and a smattering of other NATO countries.
This was before and much like as in Ukraine they realized that it needed local “boots on the ground” to have any legitimacy. The pro-western ECOWAS economic block duly suspended Niger and set a deadline for “democracy to be restored”, or face military consequences. Said deadline ended 3 days ago.
Another paradox directly linked to Ukraine is that Russia were called the aggressor for invading a sovereign nation, while ECOWAS and the West invading a sovereign country led by a popular coup leader are painted as liberation. This is white messiah syndrome on acid.
So, why have they not invaded off the deadline has already ran out? Quite simply because despite the might of ECOWAS, Niger supported by Burkina Faso, Mali and Wagner group will be no pushover, not to mention that the coup has largely been popularly supported by the populace.
For their part Mali and Burkina Faso, who have had their own anti-French coups take place have promised support for Niger, which has not only led to a bit of a Mexican standoff, but has also shown the hypocrisy of everyone involved. No one threatened to invade Burkina Faso, or Mali when military leaders took over, and this is because neither country has uranium, diamonds, or anything deemed worth killing other peoples citizens for.
And while there will probably still be a war, the nations of ECOWAS are now scared about their own positions in relation to their populations. If they are seen as acting like Uncle Tom’s and fighting a white colonialist war, whilst their people suffer they too could see revolution.
Yet, whatever you call the affair, be it “World War Africa”, or “Cold War 2.0” make no mistake the battle lines have well and truly been drawn.