Radical Media - by Maajid Nawaz
Coup in Niger: Anti-Colonial Protestors Raise Russian Flags & Attack French Embassy As Macron Threatens "Military Intervention"

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Coup in Niger: Anti-Colonial Protestors Raise Russian Flags & Attack French Embassy As Macron Threatens "Military Intervention"
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Coup in Niger: Anti-Colonial Protestors Raise Russian Flags & Attack French Embassy As Macron Threatens "Military Intervention"

A Radical Dispatch

The EU, France, and the US have demanded that the deposed former president of Niger Mohamed Bazoum be returned to power after he was overthrown in a military coup. Otherwise they say they will leave Niger without subsidies that are estimated at $2 billion a year.

Niger is an extremely poor but resource rich country that straddles the region in Africa known as the Sahel.

As a former colonial power, France’s Macron has in particular condemned the coup.


Note: due to Elon Musk’s ongoing social media war with Substack, video via tweets can no longer be embedded into Substack. Readers must click on the image to view all video clips.

I say here with great clarity that France absolutely condemns with the utmost firmness this military coup against a democratically elected leader, courageous and implementing the reforms and investments his country needs, which we support just as we supported his predecessor from the beginning. This coup d’état is perfectly illegitimate and profoundly dangerous for the Nigeriens, for Niger, and for the entire region.

Macron is demanding that the coup be reversed by Sunday or - as coup plotters allege - he will intervene militarily.

Le Monde reports 31st July 2023:

Nigerien soldiers who overthrew elected president Mohamed Bazoum accused France on Monday July 31 of "‘want to intervene militarily,’ in the aftermath of a summit of West African neighbours in Niger threatening to use ‘force’ if he was not reinstated by Sunday…essential country in the fight against jihadist groups which have ravaged the Sahel countries for years. France and the United States deploy 1,500 and 1,100 soldiers respectively, who participate in the fight against jihadists.”

So why does Macron in particular care so much about Niger?

As always, the answer returns to the African country’s rich natural resources that are currently exploited by France. Specifically Niger’s Uranium, which is used to fuel France’s national nuclear power grids.

Old School Colonialism, France, the EU and Uranium:

Recently, the now deposed government of Mohamed Bazoum gave French company Orano exclusive access to the country's uranium mines until 2040.

Politico reports 31st July 2023:

The military coup in Niger is raising fears, especially in France, over its potential impact on the import of uranium to power nuclear plants.

Niger supplies 15 percent of France’s uranium needs and accounts for a fifth of the EU’s total uranium imports. Orano, France's state-controlled nuclear fuel producer, is continuing its activities in Niger and monitoring the situation, a company spokesperson said in a statement emailed to POLITICO, stressing that "our priority is to maintain the safety of our employees in the country."

In fact, like most conflicts in Africa, the instability in Niger may be viewed through the lens of international proxy wars being fought for control of such resources.

Le Monde reports 24th April 2023:

Indeed, with recent “green” moves away from fossil fuels, control over countries that are rich in Uranium becomes ever more strategic as Western countries begin to explore nuclear power as an alternate source of energy.

France 24 reports 29th November 2022:

The deeply impoverished landlocked Sahel state is a major supplier of uranium to the European Union, accounting for a fifth of its supplies, and is especially important to France, its former colonial power.

One in three lightbulbs in France are powered by Uranium from Niger. But while Niger essentially keeps France’s lights on, nationally 81.2% of Niger itself goes without electricity.

In addition, Niger is one of fourteen African states who since 1961 have been required by France to pay a yearly colonial tax as compensation.

As of January 2014, 14 African countries are obliged by France, through a colonial pact, to put 85% of their foreign reserve into France central bank under French minister of Finance control. They are effectively putting in 500 Billion dollars every year to the French treasury. African leaders who refuse are killed or victim of coup. Those who obey are supported and rewarded by France with lavish lifestyle while their people endure extreme poverty, and desperation.

Naturally, many Nigeriens are a tad upset at such injustice. Evidently, they have decided to turn the tap off.

Gold too has been affected.

The Zambian Observer reports 31st July 2023:

Niger has suspended the export of gold and uranium to France this Sunday with immediate effect.

US ‘War on Terror’ and Military Bases:

The United States is not free from blame, or interference either. The US has two military bases in Niger, including the huge $110 million drone base in Agadez which is the largest base-building effort ever undertaken in US Air Force history.

Voice of America reports 1st November 2019:

“‘I would say that the construction of Air Base 201 will go down as one of the most Herculean efforts in the history of the United States Air Force,’ Brig. Gen. Michael Rawls, who commands the Air Force’s 435th Air Expeditionary Wing in Africa, said...”

Reuters reports 27th July 2023:

There are about 1,100 U.S. troops in Niger, where the U.S. military operates out of two bases. In 2017, the government of Niger approved the use of armed American drones from the country to target militants.

The US uses these bases as their main operating centre for Africa Command (AFRICOM) conducting military, drone and surveillance operations as part of their “War on Terror” in the continent, after the focus has shifted away from the MENA and AfPak regions.

More clandestinely, American trained officers have conducted six military coups in nearby Burkina Faso and Mali. They have also been involved in recent coups in the Gambia (2014), Guinea (2021) and Mauritania (2008). In total and since 2008, 11 coups in West Africa have been led by US trained military officers.

Rolling Stone Magazine reports 25th February 2023:

For decades, U.S.-trained officers —from Haiti’s Philippe Biamby and Romeo Vasquez of Honduras to Egypt’s Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi and Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq of Pakistan— have overthrown U.S.-allied governments all over the world. Rarely, however, have so many coups been so concentrated in a region over such a short period of time.”   

As of 2021, the United States had provided Niger with more than $500 million in military assistance and training programs since 2012, while the European Union last year launched a $30 million military training mission in Niger as well.

The Intercept reports 27th July 2023:

BRIG. GEN. MOUSSA SALAOU BARMOU, the chief of Niger’s Special Operations Forces and one of the leaders of the unfolding coup in Niger, was trained by the U.S. military, The Intercept has confirmed. U.S.-trained military officers have taken part in 11 coups in West Africa since 2008…Just last month, Barmou met with Lt. Gen. Jonathan Braga, the head of U.S. Army Special Operations Command, at Air Base 201, a drone base in the Nigerian city of Agadez that serves as the lynchpin of an archipelago of U.S. outposts in West Africa.

On Wednesday, Barmou, who trained at Fort Benning, Georgia, and the National Defense University in Washington, joined a junta that ousted Mohamed Bazoum, Niger’s democratically elected president, according to Nigerien sources and a U.S. government official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Clearly, this coup in Niger is - as we have stated above - part of a much wider geo-strategic great game of nations that is currently being played out by certain major world powers.

Putin, Russia and Debt Forgiveness:

Meanwhile, Russia has positioned herself in this game as an anti-colonial power in the Sahel region and beyond. This will no doubt prove popular.

The Daily Nigerian reports 20th March 2023:

Russia has written off African countries’ debt amounting to more than $20 billion, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

Reuters reports 27th July 2023:

MOGADISHU, July 27 (Reuters) - Russia has granted debt relief on over $684 million owed by Somalia in a deal finalised on the sidelines of a Russia-Africa summit in St Petersburg, officials from the Horn of Africa nation said.

Emerging from decades of civil war, Somalia is seeking to secure sweeping external debt relief under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank's Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative.

Putin’s debt forgiveness may well be a reason Nigeriens are raising Russian flags as they march, simultaneously voicing their frustration at French neo-colonial haughtiness.

ABC News reports 30th July 2023:

NIAMEY, Niger -- Thousands of people backing the coup in Niger marched through the streets of the capital denouncing France, the country's former colonial power, waving Russian flags, and setting a door at the French Embassy ablaze on Sunday before the army broke up the crowd.

Demonstrators in Niger are openly resentful of France, and Russia is seen by some as a powerful alternative. The nature of Russia's involvement in the rallies, if any, isn't clear but some protesters have carried Russian flags, along with signs reading “Down with France” and supporting Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Here’s video of Nigeriens raising pro-Russia and anti-French slogans:

Note: due to Elon Musk’s ongoing social media war with Substack, video via tweets can no longer be embedded into Substack. Readers must click on the image to view all video clips.

As they attack the French embassy:

Note: due to Elon Musk’s ongoing social media war with Substack, video via tweets can no longer be embedded into Substack. Readers must click on the image to view all video clips.

Unsurprisingly, debt forgiveness is popular with Nigeriens, while France’s colonial taxes and resource extraction are not. Radical Media does not suggest that Putin is acting here out of any particular love for colonised Africans. These are clearly some smart political manoeuvres that suit Russia’s national interests. But such moves also happen to chime with current sentiment among the young across the continent. As such, he is managing to succeed in places many great powers are failing.

Perhaps there is a lesson there.

A New Generation of African and European Leaders

In light of shifting geopolitical currents across the Sahel and wider continent of Africa, a new generation of leaders has emerged who are beginning to reject the old post-colonial model, which is essentially just neo-colonialism dressed up as neoliberal economic cooperation. Africans are demanding a new deal.


Note: due to Elon Musk’s ongoing social media war with Substack, video via tweets can no longer be embedded into Substack. Readers must click on the image to view all video clips.

The questions that my generation are asking themselves are the following, if I may sum up: It is not to understand how Africa with so much wealth on our soil with generous nature, water, sun in abundance, Africa is today the poorest continent. Africa is a hungry continent. And how is it that our heads of state are crossing the world to beg. Thee are questions that we ask ourselves and that we have no answer to so far. We have the opportunity to forge new relations and I hope that these new relations can be the best to give. abetter future to our peoples. As for Burkina Faso, today we have been confronted for more than eight years with the most barbaric, most violent form of neo-colonialism, imperialism. Slavery still has to impose on us.”

And it seems that, despite the let down many feel after she came to power, a new generation of European leaders are beginning to at least hear this message.


Note: due to Elon Musk’s ongoing social media war with Substack, video via tweets can no longer be embedded into Substack. Readers must click on the image to view all video clips.

This is a child who works in a gold mine in Burkino Faso. Burkino Faso is one of the poorest nations in the world. France prints colonial money for Burkino Faso which has gold. In return they demand that 50% everything Burkino Faso exports ends up in the coffers of the French treasury. The gold that this child goes down a tunnel to extract mostly ends up in the coffers of the French state. So the solution is not to take Africans and bring them to Europe. The solution is to Free Africa from certain Europeans who exploit it and allow these people to live off what they have

Europe’s - and Britain’s - preoccupation with the migrant crisis has no immediate solution. But as Giorgia Meloni notes above - and Italy has born the brunt of the migration crisis from Africa - this problem cannot be stemmed unless and until it is addressed at source.

Whether Meloni meant what she said or was just cynically electioneering at the time, it is undeniable that helping African countries to stand independently is the only viable long term solution to their current disastrous implosion, as well as the severe strife caused by Europe’s internal culture wars. Failing here will eventually give rise to unprecedented and unpredictable civil conflict internally, and war globally.

If only globalists got the memo.

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