Niger coup another major blow to colonial powers

Africans have overthrown the neocolonial pro-French government in Niger in the latest wave of anti-colonial resistance. The military leaders took over on July 26: “The defense and security forces…have decided to put an end to the regime you are familiar with,” said Niger army spokesman colonel-major Amadou Abdramane on national television. Abdramane continues, “This follows the continuous deterioration of the security situation, the bad social and economic management.”

Members of the presidential guard detained the former president Mohamed Bazoum inside the presidential palace. Across the following days African supporters paraded in the streets waving Niger and Russian flags. They gathered in front of the National Assembly in Niamey, Niger, rallied in the jam-packed Niamey stadium which has a capacity of 30,000 people, and attacked the embassy of France.

France is nothing without Africa

In previous years, anti-French struggles have swept Burkina Faso, Mali, and Guinea–overthrowing neocolonial governments. The new leaders in Niger stopped exports of uranium and gold to France, further deepening the crisis among imperialist colonial powers.

France’s electricity is powered by 75 percent nuclear power. 55 percent of the uranium used for this nuclear power in France is from Niger. At least 20 percent of the uranium used for nuclear energy in Europe is from Niger. Meanwhile, less than one percent of Africans living in rural parts of Niger have access to electricity.

A supporter of the coup said, “We have uranium, gold, and diamonds, yet we live like slaves… We don’t need France to keep us safe.”

France has military bases in Niger and imposes the CFA’s (French colonies in Africa) franc currency in 14 countries in Africa, including Niger, from which it reaps hundreds of billions of dollars a year.

As Chairman of the African People’s Socialist Party, Omali Yeshitela says, “Africa is not poor. Africa is being looted.”

Africans stand firm against pressure from neocolonialists

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), a neocolonial tool of the U.S. and France, threatened to invade Niger within a week after the coup if the previous government in Niger was not restored. They froze Niger’s assets in their central and commercial banks, and, like the European Union and France, put economic sanctions on Niger.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) threatened to invade Niger after the coup if the previous neocolonial pro-French government was not restored. PHOTO: THETHOMANSKI, CC0, VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The leaders in Niger stood firm and did not budge. Nothing happened after the first seven days, though members of ECOWAS, including Nigeria, Benin, and the Ivory Coast, have provided troops on standby for a possible military intervention in Niger.

In response, the new leaders in Niger threatened to kill the former president if any of them invaded Niger.

Leaders in Mali and Burkina Faso put out a joint statement warning that any external military intervention in Niger amounts to a war against them all.

Our Africa in our hands

The support from Burkina Faso and Mali points to the greater consciousness of Africans as, “One Africa, One Nation”–not as divided colonies imposed by imperialists. Africans are taking matters back into our own hands. Hundreds of supporters of the coup have also rallied to protest at a French military base in Niger. French troops withdrew from Mali in 2022 and Burkina Faso in 2023 following revolutionary coups by Africans.

Mali has recently expelled peacekeeper troops from the United Nations. Captain Ibrahim Traoré, the president of Burkina Faso, widely seen as a successor to African Revolutionary Thomas Sankara, also from Burkina Faso, commented on this in an historic speech at the recent Russia-Africa Summit from July 27-28:

“As far as what concerns Burkina Faso today, for more than eight years we’ve been confronted with the most barbaric, the most violent form of imperialist neo-colonialism. Slavery continues to impose itself on us. Our predecessors taught us one thing: a slave who cannot assume his own revolt does not deserve to be pitied. We do not feel sorry for ourselves, we do not ask anyone to feel sorry for us. The people of Burkina Faso have decided to fight, to fight against terrorism, in order to relaunch their development.

In this struggle, valiant people from 20 populations have pledged to take up arms in the face of terrorism. This we affectionately call the VDP of volunteers. We are surprised to see the imperialists calling these VDPs militias and all kinds of things. It is disappointing because, in Europe, when people take up arms to defend their homeland, they are called patriots.

What is the problem are African heads of state who contribute nothing to these people who are fighting, but who sing the same song as the imperialists, calling us militias, calling us men who don’t respect human rights. Which human rights are we talking about? We take offense at this, it is shameful. We African heads of state must stop behaving like puppets who dance every time the imperialists pull the strings.”

Niger is the latest front in the International African Revolution where we’re putting the lives and resources of Africans back into our own hands.

One Africa! One Nation!

Hands Off Niger! Hands Off Uhuru! Hands Off Africa!

Join the African Socialist International:

Omali Yeshitela Speaks: Hands Off Niger! Hands Off Africa!


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