Above Photo: Supporters of Niger’s ruling junta gather at the start of a protest called to fight for the country’s freedom and push back against foreign interference in Niamey, Niger, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023. AP Photo/Sam Mednick.
The Africa Team of the Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) and the U.S. Out of Africa Network (USOAN) condemn the threats of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to lead a military intervention into Niger. We believe this would be an act of subservience to U.S./EU/NATO interests. As Western imperialism seems to be losing its neo-colonialist grip on Africa, it is trying to expand its use of puppets and proxies to undermine resistance.
The military coup in Niger on July 26 deposed President Mohamed Bazoum and installed General Abdourahamane Tchiani as the country’s new leader. In power since 2021, Bazoum and his party were reliable servants of French and U.S. imperialism. This may help explain why the United States and its NATO allies seemed overly concerned about this particular coup.
The West’s hypocritical claims of standing for “democracy” in Niger fall flat when compared to its response to the military coup in Sudan as well as the political repression faced by the popular movement in that country. The United States (and its Western partners) has had a hand in orchestrating countless coups in Africa, such as those against democratically elected leaders Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Patrice Lumumba of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Thomas Sankara of Burkina Faso, to name a few.
The objective of the U.S./EU/NATO Axis of Domination is colonial control of Niger and the Sahel region. France and other EU countries rely on Niger for 15-30 percent of their uranium imports, critical to Europe’s nuclear energy sector. Meanwhile, the majority of Niger’s population doesn’t even have access to electricity. Furthermore, Niger is the last state in West Africa where a large number of Western soldiers are stationed under the U.S. “War on Terror” regime. The $100 million U.S. base in Agadez, Niger, is where the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) operates its drones, and is just one such AFRICOM facility in that country.
As Ezra Otieno, member of the Revolutionary Socialist League in Kenya and BAP’s U.S. Out of Africa Network Steering Committee, says:
“For all of these factors, France, the EU, and the U.S. are keen to maintain control over Niger. They aim to push the new authorities to restore their puppet Bazoum or to reach an arrangement with General Tchiani to maintain his predecessor’s pro-Western stance. If these preparations fail within the next few days, Western imperialists want to intervene militarily with the support of their foot soldiers in the Nigeria-dominated ECOWAS bloc.”
It is clear that the United States and France have decided to draw a line here before France is expelled and U.S. interests are threatened. Without NATO, the United States or France, ECOWAS would not be able to intervene. It is telling that, of all the coups in Africa, ECOWAS is ready to intervene militarily in Niger. This is because their masters in the West demand it. Apparently, ECOWAS member states have chosen servitude to imperialism over the people’s will.
In Haiti, the imperialists use Kenya and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) as cover for their intervention. To do the same for the coup in Niger, they have the President of Nigeria, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and ECOWAS. Now they are facing a united front composed of Burkina Faso, and Mali, whose leadership have all expressed support for Niger’s sovereignty. While the CNRD of Guinea, Comité national du rassemblement et du développement (National Committee of Reconciliation and Development) is not part of the front, their Spokesperson, Aminata Diallo said that if “…requested by ECOWAS to send troops that we would refuse…”
ECOWAS is working as a comprador structure, along with the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), which has levied financial sanctions against Niger and the coup leaders. The situation in Niger demands an African response, not the imperialist-led and anti-people militarized one suggested by members of ECOWAS.
The Black Alliance for Peace October 2023 International Month of Action against western militarization of the African continent, demanding that the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) is shut down, will be more important than ever before. The annual Month of Action is an opportunity for political education and action that links the domestic war being waged against African peoples in the United States with the war that the United States wages on the continent of Africa and globally.
From Haiti to Niger and beyond, we must build an understanding of Pan-Africanism and illuminate the interdependent geo-political and economic interests among African/Black people in Haiti, the Americas, the African continent, and among those domestically colonized in the enclaves of the imperialist countries.
No to imperialism in Black face. Yes to Pan-African self-determination. U.S. Out of Africa!