Warfare flashpoints around the world have morphed into hotspots after the Biden administration implemented its brand of diplomacy in geopolitics. Subsequent circumstances that dominate legacy media headlines include Russia vs. NATO in the eastern Ukraine “meat grinder” that threatens a wider conflict and WW3, U.S. support vs. China’s claim over Taiwan (formerly known as Formosa) and international navigation of seaways in the South China Sea, a North/South Korea stalemate since WW2 that escalated to nuclear weapon positioning on opposite sides of the DMZ, and a military coup in Niger two weeks ago that toppled another pro-Western junta in Africa’s Sahel region (aka the coup zone). Niger’s situation threatens a fragile peace among nations in northern Africa and exports of strategic commodities to Western nations.
Before dissecting the situation in Niger any further, consider the following map of a lesser known and planned natural gas pipeline that is expected to assist in the remediation of Europe’s energy crisis. That crisis is self-imposed due to fraudulent climate policies, failed sanctions placed on Russia over the war in Ukraine, and the state-sponsored destruction of Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea.
Ever since Niger gained its independence in 1960 from being a French colony, it was still covertly ruled by the West. The U.S. spent around $500 million since 2012 to help Niger boost security, and Germany announced in April that it would participate in a European military mission to improve Niger’s military.
In late July, top military leaders of Niger ousted the country’s president, Mohamed Bazoum. He was supported by France and other Western nations until his “democratic government” was voted into power in 2021. This year’s coup is more bad news for the West regarding an unstable Sahel region of Africa but especially for France and the United States, which have strong ties and trade with West African countries. The U.S., African Union, and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) bloc have all condemned the coup in Niger. The military takeover marks the seventh coup in West and Central Africa since 2020 and will likely complicate efforts to suppress a jihadist insurgency in the Sahel region that spread from Mali over the last decade.
West African Military Chiefs Draw Up Intervention Plan as Niger Talks Falter… “The leaders of the attempted coup have shown no sign of backing down, warning that the ECOWAS threat of force would be met with force… Late Thursday, Niger spokesperson Amadou Abdramane read a decision on national television ending bilateral military agreements with France, Niger’s former colonial ruler. France has about 1,500 soldiers in the country focused on counterterror operations. Abdramane also announced the dismissal of the Bazoum government’s ambassadors to France, the United States, Togo and neighboring Nigeria, which is leading dialogue efforts by ECOWAS.” – VOA, Aug. 4
Niger is a landlocked country that shares borders with Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Libya, Mali, and Nigeria. Its population consists of nomads from the Saharan north and farmers in the south, and 99% are Muslims with 80% being Sunni and only 6% Shiite. Neighbors Burkina Faso, Mali, and Guinea are all governed by military administrations that seized power and warned that any attack on Niger is an attack on them. If ECOWAS members make the first move to retake Niger, they would all defend Niger’s independence from Western influence. Nigeria’s government has ruled out the possibility of using its military to return Bazoum to power, and Algeria condemns interfering because “a military intervention could set the entire Sahel region on fire and [we] will not use force against neighbors.” Burkina Faso’s president announced that “Africa’s time of slavery to Western regimes is over, and the battle for full independence has begun… homeland or death.”
“The military is confident that Niger will finally cease to be a European colony. In the near future, all French soldiers must leave the territory of the state. The ambassadors of Niger, who work in the US, France, and Nigeria, will also return to their homeland.” – Apocalypseos (video), Aug. 4
“Nigeria will not go into Niger. Niger and Northern Nigeria is like what Donbass is to Russia. They are brothers and will oppose any attempt to force them to war.” – Amokwu.Js, Aug. 5
“Nigerian senators have rejected President Bola Tinubu’s request to allow the deployment of Nigerian troops to Niger Republic as part of the ECOWAS force to return Niger’s President-elect Mohammed Bazoum.” – Sprinter, Aug. 5
“Since 1990, ECOWAS has waged seven separate conflicts in West Africa, in order to protect the West’s preferred despots across the region. Meanwhile, between 1960 and 2020, Paris launched 50 separate overt interventions in Africa. Figures for clandestine activities conducted during this time are unavailable, but the country’s fingerprints are plastered all over multiple rigged elections, coups, and assassinations that have sustained compliant, corrupt governments in power throughout the continent. As President Jacques Chirac remarked in 2008, ‘without Africa, France will slide down into the rank of a third [world] power.’ This perspective was reaffirmed in a 2013 French Senate report, Africa is Our Future. Indeed, the mere existence of anti-imperialist governments anywhere in the region is intolerable to Paris.” – The Grayzone, Aug. 5
As reported by AP and France24, Niger’s new military regime invited Russian mercenary group Wagner to help with training and to be “a guarantee to hold onto power.” Additional sources have reported that Wagner already has troops within the capital of Niamey. Niger also banned all France24 TV and RFI broadcasts. France has already begun the evacuation of its citizens after Niger’s allies warned of war if there is any intervention attempt by the West or affiliated African nation.
The major issue for Western politicos is a loss of influence within African politics and the supply of strategic commodities that include but are not limited to oil, natural gas, gold, and especially uranium for nuclear power plants. It is reported that at least 50% of the uranium ore extracted from Niger is used to fuel French nuclear power plants and 24% of European Union uranium imports come from Niger. With an ongoing energy crisis in the Eurozone, any shortage of fuel for electricity generation is a problem.
Niger puts an end to uranium and gold export to France… “In parallel to the decision, protestors were surrounding the French Embassy in Niger calling for the end of French colonial practices repeating the slogan ‘Down with France!’ and reaffirming their support to the coup leader, Tchiani… According to the World Nuclear Association (WNA), Niger is the world’s seventh-biggest producer of uranium…. Currently, uranium production in Niger occurs mostly through a French majority-owned company called Orano which owns 63.4% of Société des Mines de l’Air (SOMAIR). The remaining 36.66% of this is owned by Niger’s Société du Patrimoine des Mines du Niger, known as Sopamin. In 2021, the European Union utilities purchased 2905 tU of Niger-produced uranium making Niger the leading uranium supplier vis-a-vis the EU.” – Al Mayadeen, Jul. 31
The following statistics on Niger’s international trade profile are from Lloyds Bank. Many more data points are available at the link. That data can assist investors with identifying avenues of investment to enter or exit in the near term.
“Niger is open to foreign trade, which represented 38% of the country’s GDP in 2021 (World Bank)… The country mainly exports petroleum products (38.6% of total exports), uranium (28.6%), gold (12%), vegetables (5.7%), live animals, palm oil, vehicles, and machinery. The main imported products are rice (16.9% of total imports), vehicles (8.2%), machinery (8.1%), air vehicle parts (7.9%), mineral fuels (5.2%), medicines (4.7%) electrical machinery (4.3%), iron, food and ammunition and weapons (International Trade Centre, 2021). Niger’s main customers are France (23.2% of total exports), Mali (21.8%), Burkina Faso (14.4%), Nigeria (10%), the United Arab Emirates (9.1%), Canada (6.7%) and Ghana (5.2%). Its main suppliers are China (18.7% of total imports), France (14.1%), India (8.5%), Nigeria (7.5%), the United States (6.4%), Thailand (6%) and Japan (4.2%) (International Trade Centre, 2021).”
France desperate to hold on to Niger, and its uranium – The Duran, Aug. 5
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