Niger's Coup Crisis: Shifting Alliances and Sahel's Uncertain Future

Niger's Coup Crisis: Shifting Alliances and Sahel's Uncertain Future

french embassy in niger attached
niger's new leaders
Video file

The military group that seized power in Niger has leveled accusations against France, suggesting plans for a military intervention to reinstate the deposed president, Mohamed Bazoum. French Foreign Minister, Catherine Colonna, refuted these allegations, underscoring the necessity of restoring stability in Niger and its neighboring countries.

Bazoum, a Western ally, was deposed in a July coup by Niger's presidential guard. Despite General Abdourahamane Tchiani's claim to leadership, his claim remains unacknowledged globally. Reports indicate several ministers from Bazoum's government have been arrested post-coup, including the mines minister.

Chadian president, Mahamat Idriss Déby, who mediated between the parties, shared the first images of Bazoum since the takeover. He did not disclose details of his peace negotiation efforts with Bazoum and Tchiani.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) warned the junta to relinquish power within a week, threatening "all measures" to restore constitutional order. Amidst this crisis, commercial and financial transactions with ECOWAS have been suspended. Global powers including France, the EU, and the US, have cut off or threatened to cut off support to Niger, whilst Germany suspended financial aid and development cooperation. United Nations humanitarian operations have been put on hold.

Niger's coup was reportedly a response to security deterioration tied to jihadist conflict, corruption, and economic issues. The country grapples with two jihadist campaigns, placing France’s military presence in the Sahel region of Africa under scrutiny.

French President Emmanuel Macron, issued a stern warning to the junta, ensuring "immediate and uncompromising" action if French interests were attacked. Anti-French and pro-Russian sentiments echoed at the rallies, leading to speculation about a potential shift in alliances.

This coup threatens France's strategy in the Sahel, given its decade-long military presence and anti-jihadist mission. Several military coups in the region have exposed the limitations of the military strategy and forced France to reconsider its presence. The current circumstances in Niger make it difficult for France and other foreign troops to continue their military engagement.

Analysts suggest the military-focused approach to combating jihadist insurgency in the Sahel has underperformed, making France a scapegoat. They believe the crisis is not merely military but also relates to development, justice, and governance issues.

As this situation unfolds, the critical role of neutral and public-interest-focused journalism, as exemplified by outlets like The Guardian, becomes increasingly evident. It serves to provide a balanced view in the face of media monopolized by billionaires and the tendency towards false equivalence in the name of neutrality.



Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.