Africaleadnews – (Senegal) No apology for the coup d’etat! On the other hand, a harsh indictment is necessary against the actions and arguments of France. Words and gestures of Paris very hostile to the Junta of Niger which, in principle and in view of its lack of legitimacy, is as hideous or ugly as its certified copies or lithographs of Burkina and Burma.
The Élysée and the Quai d’Orsay are so embittered by the Niamey putsch that Macron and Colonna are no longer content to pull strings as big as cables. The French President and his Minister of Foreign Affairs operate, without embarrassment, the catapults (like on an aircraft carrier) which project the ECOWAS contingents into Nigerien territory.
The wall of heresy is cheerfully crossed with the maneuvers which resulted in the invitation of General Mahamat Déby to the summit of Abuja. If humor were appropriate in the antechamber of imminent hell and on the threshold of certain chaos, one could insinuate and even say that France and Chad are respectively the sixteenth and seventeenth member states of ECOWAS.
Alas, the unfortunate impact and the disastrous effect of the influences of France are already perceptible in the sound cracks and fractures within ECOWAS. Mali, Burkina and Guinea-Conakry are rebelling against the military option and are preparing to break ties with the West African bloc. Conversely, the European Union (EU) agrees firmly on Niger. Too bad for Africans: eternally divided and eternally dominated!
In terms of the arguments relating to General Tchani’s coup, France is swimming in a pool of inconsistencies and inconsistencies. In April 2021, President Emmanuel Macron travels to Ndjamena, to assist and/or install General Mahamat Idriss Déby, head of the DGSSIE (Presidential Guard), at the head of the State and the Transition of Chad. In August 2023, the Élysée mobilized ECOWAS and the international community against the Commander of the Presidential Guard of Niger.
However, both of them – Déby and Tchani – have overstepped the President of the National Assembly, overstepped the Prime Minister, overstepped the Minister of Defense and bypassed the Chief of Staff, to take control of the country. In which normal country, the head of the Presidential Guard automatically replaces the head of state after the latter’s death or incapacity? Answer: Chad. With the active support of France. General Diendéré, head of the late RSP of Blaise Compaoré was not so lucky. He is in prison.
In West Africa, the “double standard” of Paris is further illustrated by Colonel Doumbouya’s putsch. France condemns softly but cooperates fruitfully. In Guinea, the First Lady is a French gendarme. Ah, if General Tchani had a French spouse! On July 14, the French Ambassador to Conakry, His Excellency Marc Fonbaustier, gave a lyrical speech to the Guinean Prime Minister. Even the late Sékou Touré who humiliated Charles de Gaulle in September 1958, received a dose of praise there. In short, constitutional order and legitimacy are the youngest of France’s concerns in Africa.
However, what worries about the Nigerian crisis are the legal-aggressive arguments expressed by authoritative voices in France. Indeed, the French government finds that the Junta of General Tchani is illegitimate to demand the end of military cooperation and the departure of the 1,500 French soldiers.
The argument is very weak when we know that Operation SERVAL (mother of Operation BARKHANE) was launched in 2013, at the request and on the basis of a document signed by an unelected President, in this case , Dioncounda Traoré, installed at the head of a Transition itself resulting from the entrails of the coup d’etat of Captain Sanogo, who felled the legitimate President ATT in March 2012. At that time, the Ambassador of France in Mali, Christian Rouyer , often went to Kati to discuss with Captain and no less putschist Sanogo
A document moreover backdated and doctored by the advisers of François Hollande, according to the French newspaper « Le Monde ». It is added that it is another Malian President (not yet elected), Colonel Assimi Goïta who demanded and obtained the successive departures of BARKHANE and MINUSMA. Without a hitch. The lesson of Mirabeau is still fixed in our heads as former students of the Colonial School: « We can support everything, except inconsistency ».
If the French army refuses to leave Niger, it will de facto transform itself into a force of occupation or even colonization. Which will awaken the sinister memory of General Gallieni in Madagascar or that of Colonel Dodds in Dahomey. Niger will then have the appearance and colors of a New Caledonia in the Sahel. And Macron will be able to appoint.
(By Babacar Justin Ndiaye)