30 Sep 2023
The very thought in today’s Africa that fellow African countries would gang up in the name of ECOWAS and invade a brother African country on behalf of foreign powers is disgusting, nauseating and enough to discredit ECOWAS. The troika of French Marionettes (presidents of Ivory Coast, Senegal and Benin) led the charge against the overwhelming opposition from the citizens of their respective countries. Tinubu, the new president of Nigeria and recent frequent visitor to France became a big fish that was coopted into their ‘France Afrique’ agenda.
Everything had possibly been put in place by France for the onslaught not only on Niger but possibly on Mali and Burkina Faso. It was going to be a replay of the destruction of Libya and the killing of her leader. Remember that in 2011, France and her ‘partners in crime against Libya’ maneuvered the United Nations Security Council to pass resolution 1973 on which they capitalized to embark on a bombing spree of Libya and dropped thousands of weapons from the air to rebels and terrorists on the ground. Some of these very terrorists subsequently relocated from Libya to the Sahel Region with their free sophisticated weapons and France and allies want to convince us that they are in the Sahel to fight the same terrorism partly created by them. The actions of these western powers continue to degrade the credibility of the UN in the eyes of Africans.
In the case of Niger, they needed to hide behind ECOWAS and repeat the same Libyan scenario but ordinary Africans discovered the trick early enough and cried foul. Tinubu the ECOWAS head boy whose country has extensive boundary with Niger faced stiff opposition from within Nigeria and he had to develop cold feet and started watering down the meaning of ‘Ultimatum’. France already had 1500 troops in Niger and their ally (U.S) was discretely lurking in the shadows with 1100 troops in another part of Niger observing which direction the wind will blow.
The ‘ultimatum goal post’ was continually being shifted (to the frustration of France) as the ECOWAS leaders faced an angry backlash from their citizens and other Africans. An exasperated Tinubu had to admit on August 24th in one of his meetings with some Northern Nigeria Religious leaders (who had visited the junta in Niger) that he was under pressure from external powers to invade Niger.
While the ECOWAS leaders were still talking tough about executing their unpopular decision to invade Niger, another military coup d’etat took place in ‘France Afrique’ Gabon on August 30th. This was a demoralizing and chilling reminder to them that they could be as well standing on shaky ground. The noises they were making about the invasion of Niger became less and less audible.
The prospects of them going ahead with their plan are getting slimmer by the day. French troops have been told to leave Niger and France has reluctantly agreed to pull them out gradually. France’s mute reaction to the coup in Gabon exposed her double standards and the hypocrisy of her reaction towards the Niger Coup.
The truth is that ECOWAS was counting on France and co. to assist them militarily in their neocolonial project in Niger. If the ECOWAS head boy didn’t know, the troika knew. France on the other hand was waiting and beckoning on ECOWAS to come because she desperately needed them to legitimize the planned aggression. One party cannot act without the other and that joint action is being thwarted by popular action of the people of Africa.
Njei Timah Moses