Niger probably is vague in your mind.
It’s in West Africa, has just undergone a coup, and is facing an invasion this Sunday from ECOWAS (Economy Community of West African States) which does what France and the United States asks it to do.
This clout of France essentially—which once ruled 29 African states, and which still has its currency CFA used in 14 African nations while they themselves having shifted to Euro—is acquired through its financial and military beef.
For example, France has a military base near Niger’s capital Niamey and since the 1960s, it has invaded Africa 50 times to keep itself in control, much to Africa’s sorrow. (The United States too has its largest drone base in Africa, again in a Niger city, Agadez.)
Niger, and a few other African states, are important to France’s survival. No less than France’s own ex-president Francois Mitterand once said: “But for Africa, France would’ve no 21st century.” Di Miao, once deputy PM of Italy, said without Africa, France would drop down to 15th largest economy from the top six.
Indeed, one in three homes in France would’ve no light bulbs if it wasn’t for Niger’s uranium for its power plants. Niger, the seventh largest uranium producer of the world, meanwhile itself is largely without power, an extremely impoverished country, which should tell you how rampant is exploitation of its resources by France.
When the World War II devastated the French pride, they were forced to liberate their African colonies after a few genocidal attempts to hold on to Algeria and Madagascar. Their colonial history in Africa is one of humanity’s darkest chapters hidden from you. Your blood will curl and your hair would stand on end to read about it, a glimpse of which you could glean through this link.
After France were forced to liberate all its colonies in the 1960s, the independence was all in name only. The new African nations were forced to sign a “Cooperation Agreement” in order to receive French aid. This agreement gave France a control on its resources; allowed them to have military bases; and enforced the use of its own currency Franc (CFA) on these hapless nations.
They prepared for this transition with Francafrique: That is grooming elites in their own image (Anyone, India here?) who would rule the land on France’s behalf, passing on its riches to Paris with golden crumbs to themselves while pretending to be heading sovereign nations.
One of this Francafrique is today’s ECOWAS, led by a powerful Nigeria. There is a problem though: In last four years, not just Niger but three other West African nations — Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea — have undergone “military coups” and replaced the puppet leaders with nationalistic forces in sync with masses who all are for “Down France” and “Up Russia, our friend.” These four nations—Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea—are essentially a confederation now.
Now France won’t let go of the loot of one-third of its uranium easily or gold now that the new Niger government has banned its exports to Paris. Nor would the United States sacrifice one of its 29 military bases in Africa, that too to friends of Russia. Germany has suspended financial aid to Niger and the UN humanitarian operations have also been put on hold .
From French president Emmanuel Macron to US’ secretary of state Antony Blinken, all have given the new leaders of Niger the ultimatum—restore the erstwhile puppet-president Mohamed Bazoum by Sunday or face the consequences, including an armed intervention.
The West and France’s excuse for armed intervention is that the instability would help the jihadists who infest this part of the world, a ruse which helps them plant their own military bases in sovereign African nations.
The West itself first wrecked Libya, had its leader Muammar Gaddafi sodomized and killed, and handed over the nation to jihadis who took little time to spread downwards into Sahel Africa (see map below), a semi-arid desert from Atlantic coast to Red Sea where they could roam freely between countries.
This became an excuse for West and France to stay put in Africa and loot its resources mercilessly. By accident or design, Jihadis only became bigger in numbers and resources over the years.
Now a part of West Africa is rising in defiance. They know the cost involved; they also know that the henchmen of France and West would come down hard at them.
In all this, there is a silver lining though.
Algeria comes calling to Moscow
The Algerian chief of staff flew down to Moscow this week. Algeria and Russia are thick as blood: Russia is Algeria’s number one military partner for decades. The two have an enhanced strategic partnership; some 73% of Algeria’s military imports between 2018-2022 were from Russia.
Now all this turmoil would happen in Algeria’s south and it’s concerned. It has one of the biggest and most modern army in Africa. It would hate if it’s surrounded by its former colonial masters with the United States and NATO in tow. It remembers Libya. Jihadis would infest this mediterranean North African country, not to say the influx of immigrants and criminal gangs would surge.
So far we have the word from Algeria that in the event of external military aggression, it would support Niger; that it would not sit idle. Both Algeria and Russia had initially condemned the coup but now the dynamics have changed with the West’s threat in the form of ECOWAS.
Then there is Chad, a regional military heavyweight, who is playing peace-maker but nobody knows which side it would opt for in case a war breaks out.
Time is ticking; Sunday is at hand; on one pretext or other, France could intervene with the US in background and ECOWAS its forward piece. The four new “coup” governments would resist and Algeria and Russia could weigh in. This could be Syria 2.0 given how Russia saved the Assad regime, so much so that today its sworn enemies are courting Damascus.
India is watching
India would be anxious but could do little. India’s erudite and charismatic foreign minister Dr S Jaishankar visited Niger in 2020. Niger is part of India’s ambitious Pan-Africa e-Network project; healthcare, food aid, free medicines, vaccination, Lines of Credit worth several million dollars etc, etc, India provides all.
But a likewise event to Afghanistan is folding in front of New Delhi’s eyes. India puts its shoulder in improving trade and relations with countries but then the greed and terror of the globalists lays it to waste.
Again, as I have said it many a times, Russia is India’s best guarantee for it works towards stability in volatile regions of the world where India is looking to put its best foot forward. West is nobody’s friend: At best you are only buying time.
You can’t aim to be a global power and then watch yourselves pulled out of the pond by the sharks. Sooner than later, West would stop hedging: And India would have to make a choice.
Bite the bullet for that moment would come in due course. Or be ready to be a vassal, all your domestic and foreign perspectives being in someone else’s hands.