On Tuesday September 19, the opening day of the United Nations General Assembly, anti-imperialist activists rallied outside the UN Headquarters in New York City to demand that France end its imperialist meddling in West Africa and the Sahel. Organizers with the Party for Socialism and Liberation, the December 12th Movement, Bridging Africa and Black America, and others denounced the neocolonial policies of the European nation and voiced solidarity and support to Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea, and Niger, which recently underwent coups opposing French neocolonialism. Activists demanded that France end its neocolonial exploits in the Sahel, principally Niger.
In a major advancement towards mutual cooperation, the governments of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger have formed the Alliance of Sahel States (AES). The move was finalized with the signing of the Liptako-Gourma Charter, named after the tri-border region shared by the three countries, in Mali’s capital Bamako on Saturday, September 16. “This alliance will be a combination of military and economic efforts between the three countries…Our priority is the fight against terrorism,” Malian Defense Minister Abdoulaye Diop told journalists. The three countries have committed to “prevent, manage, and resolve any armed rebellion or threat to the territorial integrity and sovereignty…
By adding two new African member-states to its roster, last week's summit in Johannesburg heralding the expanded BRICS 11 showed once again that Eurasian integration is inextricably linked to the integration of Afro-Eurasia. Belarus is now proposing to hold a joint summit between BRICS 11, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU). President Aleksandr Lukashenko's vision for the convergence of these multilateral organizations may, in due time, lead to the Mother of All Multipolarity Summits. But Afro-Eurasia is a much more complicated proposition.
Wild celebrations have broken out on the streets of Gabon’s cities on Wednesday after a military junta announced on television that it had put President Ali Bongo Ondimba under house arrest and had seized power. The Bongo family had ruled the former French colony since 1967. Ali Bongo was the wealthiest man in Gabon with an estimated $1 billion in assets. The coup took place just after the country’s electoral commission declared that he won a third term. It is the fifth coup in a West African country once ruled directly by France since August 2020, when Mali fell to military leaders.
In 1958, the poet and trade union leader Abdoulaye Mamani of Zinder (Niger) won an election in his home region against Hamani Diori, one of the founders of the Nigerien Progressive Party. This election result posed a problem for French colonial authorities, who wanted Diori to lead the new Niger. Mamani stood as a candidate for Niger’s left-wing Sawaba party, which was one of the leading forces in the independence movement against France. Sawaba was the party of the talakawa, the ‘commoners’, or the petit peuple (‘little folk’), the party of peasants and workers who wanted Niger to realise their hopes.
Niger has remained defiant in the face of repeated threats by French and United States instigated efforts to stage an invasion of the uranium-rich West African state. On August 6, tens of thousands of Nigeriens rallied in the capital of Niamey in support of the now ruling National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP), which came to power on July 26, overthrowing the western-backed President Mohamed Bazoum. Federal Republic of Nigeria President Bola Tinubu, whose recent election was shrouded in controversy, has been the subject of fierce criticism inside the country and within the entire West Africa region.
Approximately 30,000 people gathered in Niger’s capital of Niamey on August 6, as the country faced a looming threat of military intervention led by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regional bloc. However, as the deadline set by ECOWAS expired on Sunday, the regional bloc held an emergency virtual meeting with the African Union to discuss the situation in Niger. The bloc did not publicly comment on the expiration of its ultimatum, but did on August 7 issue a brief statement, announcing that the chair of ECOWAS, Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, had convened a second Extraordinary Summit of the Authority which would take place in Abuja on August 10, to discuss “the political situation and recent developments in Niger.”