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Sahel region

Decolonization Movement Is Expanding In Africa’s Sahel Region

The United States announced that it will remove its troops from Niger in September after the government ordered them to leave. Mali and Burkina Faso have done the same. Chad is the most recent country in the Sahel Region of Africa to order the US out. This follows a wave of resistance against French colonization in the region. Clearing the FOG speaks with Abayomi Azikiwe of Pan African News Wire about the growing resistance in the Sahel and the United States. He discusses the unfulfilled promises of the Biden administration and the uncommitted movement in this presidential election.

The Sahel Seeks Sovereignty

The call “La France degage!” (“France, get out!”), against the ongoing legacy of French colonialism in the region, has long echoed across West Africa. In recent years, this call has reached a new pitch of intensity, from the 2018 grassroots movements in Senegal and newly elected President Bassirou Diomaye Faye’s campaign promise to unshackle his country from the neocolonial monetary system of the CFA franc to the popularly supported military coups in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger and the ejection of French military forces from these countries between 2021 and 2023.

In Africa They Say, ‘France, Get Out!’

On 2 October 1958, Guinea declared its independence from France. Guinea’s President Ahmed Sékou Touré clashed against France’s President Charles De Gaulle, who tried to strong arm Touré into abandoning the project for independence. Touré said of De Gaulle’s threats, ‘Guinea prefers poverty in freedom to riches in slavery’. In 1960, the French government launched a covert operation called Operation Persil to undermine Guinea and overthrow Touré. The operation was named after a laundry detergent, used to wash away dirt. This provides a clear window into the French attitude toward Touré’s government.

The Sahel’s ‘Axis Of Resistance’

The emergence of in various geographies is an inextricable byproduct of the long and winding process leading us toward a multipolar world. These two things – resistance to the Hegemon and the emergence of multipolarity – are absolutely complementary. The Axis of Resistance in West Asia – across Arab and Muslim states – now finds as its soul sister the Axis of Resistance spanning the Sahel in Africa, west to east, from Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger to Chad, Sudan, and Eritrea. Unlike Niger, where the change in power against neocolonialism was associated with a military coup, in Senegal, the power change comes straight from the polls.

West African People’s Movements Call For Greater Unity

The prime minister of Mali’s transitional government, Choguel Kokalla Maïga, concluded a visit to neighboring Burkina Faso on February 26, as both countries have moved to forge closer ties. Maïga met with his Burkinabè counterpart, Apollinaire Joachimson Kyélem de Tambèla, following which both delegations presented a cooperation agreement, emphasizing their commitment to making the “Bamako-Ouagadougou axis a successful model of sub-regional integration and South-South cooperation.” On matters of insecurity and armed conflict in the “Sahelo-Saharan strip,” the delegations noted the “need to combine their efforts with those of other countries of the sub-region,” and called for a “synergy of actions at the regional level.”
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