By Saurav Sarkar
“Democracy Now!” reported on September 29 that Nigeriens had again gathered outside a French military base in Niamey, the capital, to demand that the European country’s troops leave Niger.
The news organization quoted the Beninese activist Kémi Séba, who addressed the crowd and said: “To taste freedom—every [person] has the right to taste independence. Every people has the right to regain its dignity. And if France won’t let Africans breathe, we’re going to force it to listen to us!
France, which was the colonial power in Niger, has said it would withdraw 1,500 troops from the country by the end of the year. “We are ending our military cooperation with the de facto authorities in Niger, because they no longer want to fight terrorism,” French President Emmanuel Macron said in an interview on French television, reported the New York Times.
Niger is one of the many countries in the Sahel that has seen a military coup establish a new regime. French influence over internal Nigerien affairs has been a major flashpoint in shaping opinion toward the coup.
Saurav Sarkar is a freelance writer and editor who covers political activism and labor movements. They live in Long Island, New York, and have also lived in New York City, New Delhi, London, and Washington, D.C. Follow them on Twitter @sauravthewriter and at sauravsarkar.com.
from the Globetrotter News Service