Coup d’État in Niger: a new failure of the French imperialism

We publish an unofficial translation of the article of La Cause du Peuple published here.

On 26th July, in Niger, general Omar Tchiani launched a coup against the government of President Mohamed Bazoum. The military junta formed around the general then decided to break with Françafrique.

Why are these news so important? Because it is a coup against the French imperialism, that takes advantage from the pillage of the Nigerien resources since decades ago. Indeed, they take advantage that Niger is one of the world’s main uranium exporters, both civil and military, and is the main exporter to Europe, and one of the only countries where France is hegemonic in this economic sector (one third of French uranium comes from Niger). It is therefore a central player in the world nuclear economy, and even more so fro French nuclear power.

A new government opposed to French domination, which is also supported by their Malian and Burkinabè and neighbors (who have also experienced coups in recent months based on a general fed up of the local populations towards French domination), is therefore terrifying for the French exploiter, who is afraid of losing his uranium mines to the benefit of competition.

Since the French colonization of these territories, the Sahelian strip and the majority of the countries of the Gulf of Guinea have been a very stable ‘preserve’ of French interests in Africa. Two major inter-governmental institutions act for French interests here: the “G5 Sahel” in terms of military cooperation (Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad); and ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) for economic cooperation. Therefore, today 3 members of the G5 Sahel openly reject French imperialism, including Mali, which announced its withdrawal from the organization last year. Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso and Niger are suspended from ECOWAS. The situation is even more serious for French imperialism because Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso are the vast majority of the circulation area of the Franc CFA area, a colonial loophole that allows France to guarantee the monetary political control of the countries.

For several years, French imperialism has been losing ground in Africa. The participation of French investments on the continent has fallen from 10.6% in 2002 to 4.4% in 2022, in particular with the new competition from Chinese social-imperialism. It nevertheless remains one of the main ones, for example being the second largest investor in sub-Saharan Africa behind the United Kingdom (2021 figure). The French monopolies control a sprawling network there, well helped by the governments they know how to corrupt since independence. BNP, Société Générale, Axa, Groupe Bolloré, Dassault, Alstom, ArcelorMittal, Bouygues, Carrefour, Danone, Engie, Michelin, Total, Orange, Vinci, etc. So many groups and hundreds of subsidiaries that are the exploitation and misfortune of African peoples who dare to stand up today.

In the military field, France was counting on Niger in particular for most of the redeployment of its troops after being driven out of Malian territory. Under cover of the fight against terrorism, the former colonizer maintains a strong military presence in Sahel to secure its resources and show the population that it is they who make the law. But France is not the only imperialism present militarily on the spot: Germany and the United States also have troops stationed in Niger. The country is now the largest recipient of US State Department “military aid” in West Africa, having agreed to host US drone bases.

The international media The Red Herald reports that: “Some informal Russian sources claimed the coup leaders were associated with the Wagner mercenaries, alleging that Wagner supported the faction of Colonel-Major Amadou Abdramane, which seized control of the presidency. The Russian military blogger Boris Rozhin reported that Wagner would soon receive an invitation from a ‘free’ Niger. According to reports of the Atlantic Council, the head of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, himself recently stated about expanding their presence in Africa. ‘Niger will probably move to the top of the list of countries where the Wagner Group of mercenaries will seek to expand, if Mohamed Bazoum resigns from the presidency’, another Yankee-think-tank wrote. Prigozhin described the developments as part of Niger’s fight against the ‘colonisers’. His comments were published at the moment when several hundred people gathered in Niamey and chanted support for Wagner while waving Russian flags. Wagner mercenaries are active in neighboring Mali and Burkina Faso. Some coup supporters who ransacked and set fire to Niger’s ruling party headquarters in the capital, waved Russian flags as plumes of smoke billowed from the building.”

It is therefore not surprising that in the hours following the coup, Macron assembled a crisis unit. According to government leaks, he was very angry with the leaders of the DGSE (French secret services), who failed to anticipate the risk of a coup. Very quickly, war propaganda was set in motion, linking the Nigerien junta to Putin and the war in Ukraine to justify any future interventionist policy. Since then, the French president, thinking he is “master” of West Africa, has never ceased to show his fangs, and threatens Niger and its people with a military response in the event of “an attack against the interests of the France “. At the same time, the African Union, the European Union and the United States have announced future sanctions against the junta if it does not relinquish power, again, pushing the power towards to Russian or Chinese interests.

But as Chairman Mao taught us: “Imperialism is a paper tiger”. In appearance, the French colonist is threatening, but in reality French imperialism has only been retreating in Africa for several years, in many African countries the masses have revolted against the occupation and the looting of their territories by France. And whereas ten years ago France put the Sahel set into fire and shed blood, today the French forces are pushed back wherever they are present under the pressure of the oppressed peoples.

As revolutionaries in the French State, our duty is to fight any attempt by the French State to maintain or restore the colonial order. It does not matter the nature of the current Nigerien government, because the bloodbath provoked by France to “reinstate democracy” would only serve the interests of French imperialism, the latter being ready to reduce countries to ashes to defend its large groups. who have been plundering Africa for too long!

Down with imperialism!

Long live the struggle of the Oppressed People!

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