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The West Wants Nigeria To Invade Its Northern Neighbor

It’s expected that maximum pressure will be exerted on Nigeria by the West behind the scenes over the coming week ahead of ECOWAS’ ultimatum expiring.

France and the US recognize the threat that the patriotic military coup in Niger poses to their hegemonic interests, which is why they’re ready to pull out all the stops in reversing this possibly game-changing development. For all its potential, Nigeria has largely failed to liberate itself from Western influence, hence why it’s likely to do their bidding.  

Last week’s military coup in Niger could be a game-changer in the New Cold War if the junta cuts off the uranium exports upon which France’s nuclear energy industry depends, kicks out its former colonizer’s troops from their last regional bastion, and/or requests Russia’s “Democratic Security” assistance. Unlike the patriotic military coups in Guinea, Mali, and Burkina Faso, which were condemned by the West but not considered a threat to its neocolonial stranglehold over Africa, the one in Niger is ringing alarm bells.

France and the US strongly condemned this latest regime change, with the first suspending all aid in parallel with the EU while the latter is preparing to follow suit. The African Union (AU) gave the Nigerien junta a 15-day ultimatum on Sunday to reinstall ousted President Mohamed Bazoum or risk “punitive measures”. This ominous threat was then echoed by the “Economic Community Of West African States” (ECOWAS), which said that the “use of force” might be employed if this doesn’t happen within a week.

The Nigerien junta’s spokesman foresaw this scenario and warned before their meetings that “The objective of the [ECOWAS] meeting is to approve a plan of aggression against Niger through an imminent military intervention in Niamey in collaboration with other African countries that are non-members of ECOWAS, and certain Western countries. We want to once more remind ECOWAS or any other adventurer of our firm determination to defend our homeland.”

Interim Burkinabe President Ibrahim Traore lambasted many of his peers as imperialist puppets in his speech at the second Russia-Africa Summit in St. Petersburg several days prior for doing the West’s bidding in opposing patriotic military coups such as the one that catapulted him to power last October. His words were timely in light of the AU-ECOWAS threats that made soon thereafter against the neighboring Nigerien junta, which proved that they’re functioning as the West’s regional proxies.

Amidst these rising tensions, Chadian Interim President Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno traveled to the Nigerien capital of Niamey on Sunday to hold talks with the junta, though it’s unclear at the time of this analysis’ publication what the outcome was. His country is a regional military powerhouse whose armed forces could potentially participate in any operation that ECOWAS launches against Niger despite not being a member of that bloc. At the same time, however, there are reasons why it might not do so.

This traditional French ally failed to fall for the US’ information warfare provocation earlier this year falsely claiming that Russia was plotting to kill its interim leader. Instead of expelling that country’s ambassador, it kicked the German one out instead after discovering that he was trying to stir up Color Revolution unrest. Shortly after, “Bloomberg Demanded That Biden Meddle In Chad On The Pretext Of Averting A Sudanese Scenario”. Accordingly, Chad might nowadays be reluctant to do the West’s bidding.

Its unexpected multipolar drift in recent months, which most recently saw the Chadian Foreign Minister travel to Russia for last week’s summit in defiance of intense Western pressure upon his country to boycott the event, could explain why its President is leading diplomatic efforts to defuse this latest crisis. At the same time, however, it still can’t be ruled out that Western pressure might prove too much and Chad is ultimately coerced into participating in a potential ECOWAS invasion of neighboring Niger.

Regardless of whatever role Chad may or may not play in that scenario, nothing can realistically happen unless Nigeria agrees to lead the invasion. Although ECOWAS-member Benin is a bit closer to Niamey than Nigeria is, the latter shares a much longer border with Niger and has a stronger military by far. Newly inaugurated President Bola Tinubu must therefore decide whether to do the West’s bidding in overthrowing his northern neighbor’s junta, which is the most important variable in this scenario.

It’s expected that maximum pressure will be exerted on Nigeria by the West behind the scenes over the coming week ahead of ECOWAS’ ultimatum expiring. France and the US recognize the threat that the patriotic military coup in Niger poses to their hegemonic interests, which is why they’re ready to pull out all the stops in reversing this possibly game-changing development. For all its potential, Nigeria has largely failed to liberate itself from Western influence, hence why it’s likely to do their bidding.

The armed forces and economic elite remain closely connected to that de facto New Cold War bloc. The first are trained by the West while the second got rich through their ties with it, and both of their top representatives regularly vacation there and send their kids to school in those countries. All that the West has to do is threaten to put an end to these relationships, which can then get its proxies to spring into action doing what’s needed to prepare Nigeria for leading ECOWAS’ possible invasion of Niger.

President Tinubu is considered to be a Western-friendly leader so it’s unlikely that he’d personally be against this anyhow, but even on the off chance that he wanted to defy the West, he’s powerless to resist his Western-influenced military. He’s only been in office for a few months, plus the Nigerian military has traditionally exerted disproportionate influence in shaping policy. These factors combine to make it a fait accompli that Nigeria will play the role that the West expects of it in the Nigerien crisis.

Unless President Deby succeeds in brokering a compromise that’s acceptable to France and the US, which isn’t likely but also isn’t impossible either, then there’s a very high chance that Nigeria will lead ECOWAS’ threatened invasion of Niger. Sunday’s large-scale anti-French and pro-coup rallies in Niamey show that this country’s latest regime change is genuinely popular with its people, thus suggesting that the external reimposition of President Bazoum’s despised regime could be met with resistance.

This observation doesn’t mean that the probable Nigerian-led ECOWAS invasion won’t succeed in its goal of reversing the coup, but just that it’ll require a lot of effort to sustain and might lead to the bloc being tasked by its Western overlord with carrying out a prolonged occupation. In that scenario, the Nigerien people would suffer under what could become one of the world’s worst neocolonial dictatorships, with France and the US making an example out of their country to deter patriotic military coups elsewhere.

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