Niger after the coup 2023

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  • #92026 Reply

      Intended to collect information on the Niger crisis and offer space for discussion on this topic which has taken place already but on posts dedicated to other topics.

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      A first couple of contributions: has dedicated its work on Global South issues in general:

      Some history:

      3 German language texts:

      A few translated excerpts with important data from this excellent piece:

      After the upheaval in Niamey, questions of respect and dependence arise. And about historical and lingering colonialism. A guest commentary.

      There is not a single active gold mine in France. Yet this (formerly) criminal colonial state has the fourth largest gold reserves in the world, at 2,436 tons.

      The (former) French colony of Mali has exactly 0.0 tons of gold, although it has several dozen mines (including 14 official ones) in the country, where a full 70 tons of it are mined per year. Of the revenue from nearly 60 tons of gold mined by (an estimated) 600,000 children in the (former) French colony of Burkina Faso, only ten percent goes to the country, but 90 percent goes to multinational gold mining corporations.

      France closed the last of its 210 uranium mines in 2001. Since then, all the problems associated with uranium mining, which is harmful to the environment and health, including the dangers of radioactive contamination, have been exported elsewhere as a precaution. The West African country of Niger accounts for about a quarter of Europe’s uranium imports and a third of France’s. With 56 nuclear power plants, France is one of the world’s leading exporters of nuclear power (with room for improvement).
      The (former) French colony of Niger has the highest-grade uranium ores in Africa and is the seventh-largest uranium producer in the world, but according to the World Bank, 81.4 percent of its citizens are not even connected to the electricity grid.

      40 percent live below the poverty line, one-third of children are underweight, and the illiteracy rate is 63 percent.

      Only half of the inhabitants have access to clean drinking water, and only 16 percent are connected to adequate sanitation.

      The total state budget of Niger, a country three times the size of the Federal Republic of Germany, is about 4.5 billion euros, no more than the annual turnover of the French nuclear corporation. Despite its uranium and gold deposits, Niger recently ranked 189th out of 191 countries in the Development Index.
      The fourteen CFA states are not only chained to the euro by a fixed exchange rate determined solely by the descendants of French colonial messieurs (which earned them a 50 percent devaluation in 1994), but have also lost all access to 85 percent of their currency reserves, which they are forced to deposit with Agence France Trésor.

      • “Deadly sanctions”
        August 30, 2023

        Aid organizations protest sharply against the ECOWAS sanctions against Niger, which are explicitly supported by Berlin and the EU. The West African regional organization ECOWAS has imposed harsh sanctions to force the coup plotters in Niamey to surrender, to German-European applause. Since then, dozens of containers from the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) carrying urgently needed medicines have been stuck at the border with Niger; the UN World Food Program (WFP) complains that it cannot bring some 6,000 tons of food into the country. In Niger, nearly 20 percent of the population already suffers from malnutrition. EU foreign ministers will address developments in Niger tomorrow, Thursday, at an informal meeting in Turin. The intention is to discuss how the EU can best protect its “interests and objectives in the sub-region,” according to advance reports. ECOWAS, which continues to threaten war against Niger to reinstate ousted President Mohamed Bazoum, has asked for the supply of weapons, according to a report in Brussels. However, EU states reportedly prefer to fund “non-lethal” equipment.

      • “Sahel: USA vs. France?”
        August 29, 2023

        Since the coup in Niamey, France in particular has taken a very hard line. The new government refuses to expel the French ambassador because it does not recognize their sovereignty. France has repeatedly affirmed its support for military intervention by ECOWAS.(…) The coup plotters are much more reserved with regard to the U.S., and the U.S. has also taken a much more reserved position so far. However, the U.S. also has a good 1,000 military personnel stationed in Niger and maintains several drone bases there.


      #92048 Reply
      Pigeon English

        This video is about CFA franc and French ´Neocolonialism” and influence in the region:

        Caspian Report: France secretly owns 14 countries (23 Feb 2023) – YouTube, 13m 34s

        #92156 Reply

          Yesterday there was a 2-person panel in Germany on Ukraine, BRICS, Africa.

          Guests were Andrej Hunko, MP with the LEFT PARTY, specialist for RU/UKR, South America. He was part of the OSCE monitoring mission in UKR. The other a journalist called Andreas Peter.

          Both said there is no “proof” yet but a possible likelihood that the Niger situation was created under participation or guidance of the US.
          Hunko is always very cautious. But he pointed out that there were no anti-US protesters in public even though along 1500 French soldiers there are 1000 from the US + that major US drone base. Additionally at least the French press seemed rather pissed of over the US.

          And as is known, the coup was executed by US-trained military and probably they have good relations to the US security services.

          An interesting hypothesis without evidence: that the US via causing Uranium shortage tries to pressure France into a Germany-like energy crisis as happened with Nordstream.

          Mr. Peter stated that the much talked about ECOWAS intervention was not serious after all the ECOWAS in essence is only Nigeria. He agreed that Africa is indeed stronger reminding that in the past the EU had been able to literally blackmail Kenya into accepting the EU-Africa trade agreement. Something unthinkable today.

          Also with Niger of course comparison with Vietnam came up – the new colonial power helping the old one after it lost control. So its a convoluted sit.

          Hunko is pretty sure about US meddling in the Gabon coup.

          Eventually Hunko who is active in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe reminded that the EU as part of the Lisbon agreement 15 years ago enshrined permanent rise of military spending of its member states which will have of course effects on its Africa policy.

          In case: Here the German panel, but no decent ENGL. subs.!
          Niger TC: 20:40-30:00

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