Niger Demands that French Ambassador Leaves: Burkina Faso, Mali, and ECOWAS
Kanako Mita, Sawako Uchida, and Sawako Utsumi
Modern Tokyo Times
France and the regional bloc of ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) must refrain from dictating to Niger. If not, the region could spiral even further – given the enormous regional divisions and the anti-France angle in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger.
The new ruling elites in Niger demand that the Ambassador of France (Sylvain Itte) leaves within 48 hours. Irrespective of what President Emmanuel Macron of France thinks, he should respect the authorities of Niger.
General Abdourahamane Tianim, the coup leader of Niger, supports the strengthing of the nation-state and taking the country outside the orbit of France. This sentiment is shared in Burkina Faso and Mali -and can be felt in other regional nations.
Reuters reports (VOA News), “The coup has pushed Niger’s long-standing relationship with France to the breaking point, and this latest move raised further doubts about the future of joint military efforts to fight an Islamist insurgency in the conflict-torn Sahel region.”
However, for Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, the various Islamic insurgencies have spread further because of France and compliant internal political elites who bowed down to this European country.
Colonel Obro Amadou, a member of the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP), said: “The fight will not stop until the day there are no longer any French soldiers in Niger.”
France currently refuses to abide by the demands of the new leaders of Niger and supports the French Ambassador staying.
The Foreign Ministry of France said: “The putschists do not have the authority to make this request, the ambassador’s approval coming solely from the legitimate elected Nigerien authorities.”
Euro News reports, “Generals who ousted President Mohamed Bazoum in a July 26 rebellion have called for a three-year transition period while ECOWAS demands the immediate return to constitutional order.”
Military forces in Niger – after detaining Bazoum in the capital city of Niamey – declared a similar stance to Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Mali. Accordingly, external forces deemed detrimental to Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger have been told to leave the country (in recent history) – Niger being the latest nation. This notably concerns the role of France.
Burkina Faso and Mali in a joint statement declared: “Any military intervention against Niger would be tantamount to a declaration of war against Burkina Faso and Mali.”
Lee Jay Walker says, “External forces including ECOWAS, America, France, the United Nations, and the European Union can’t keep on dictating to regional nations that seek a way out of the cycle of Islamic insurgencies, terrorism, rampant poverty, collapsing nation-states, and other ills that blight the Sahel region and the surrounding environs.”
France and ECOWAS must listen to the concerns of Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, and Niger rather than seeking to dictate to these countries.
Something is amiss with so many regional nations turning against France – and opposing the diktats of ECOWAS in respective internal issues.
Islamic insurgencies – and other forces – are chipping away at many nations in the Sahel and Lake Chad region.
Indeed, Nigeria should take a look in the mirror. After all, Islamic insurgents from Nigeria have spread to the Lake Chad region. Therefore, the role of Nigeria – in seeking to enforce a diktat on Niger via ECOWAS – is hypocritical.
ECOWAS must reach out to regional nations – and not threaten military force.
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