Crisis in Niger, evidence of advanced decomposition

Friday, 18 August 2023 14:32

Imperialism out of Africa!      

Last July 26th, soldiers under the command of General Abdourahmane Tiani seized power in Niger, a former French colony in the Sahel region, a semi-desert strip south of the Sahara. The displaced president Mohamed Bazoum is still arrested at his home and is considered an ally of imperialism in the region. The military coup government is under threat of military intervention by ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States), which did not comply with its first ultimatum but will meet again this week (August 17 and 18, 2023) to calibrate its actions. For their part, the military governing Mali and Burkina Faso came out in support of the coup plotters in Niger, while Chad and the African Union pronounced themselves against armed actions.

Niger is already under blockade by France and its regional allies. The US, in the words of its own officials, is torn between upholding "democratic principles" (which it uses as mere propaganda in its confrontation with China and Russia), acting against the coup, and its geostrategic interests, negotiating with the military to maintain its bases in the country, established for the fight against terrorism and intervention in Libya. In Niger there are 1,500 French troops stationed in the capital Niamey and the US has about a thousand soldiers in different regions of the country.

The interventions in Africa are a birthmark of imperialism as a superior and decomposed phase of capitalism. The present situation is characterized by the decomposition of the artificial states that they tried to establish during the post-war period as formally independent political formations that nevertheless remained tied by strong economic and military ties to their old metropolises, as is the case of Niger, which still uses the Franc as its currency. Imperialism has only offered misery, economic destruction, and famine to Africa, in exchange for plundering its labor force (enslaved) and its resources, especially minerals, but also hydrocarbon and agricultural and livestock resources. Niger is one of the least industrialized and poorest countries in the world and, on the other hand, is one of the main suppliers of uranium used by French nuclear power plants. The current crisis comes after regime changes in other Sahel countries, Mali and Burkina Faso, imposed by two coup-d'état, where members of the Army with nationalist discourses ended up expelling the French detachments. It is clear that these regimes are a downgraded version of the post-war bourgeois nationalist currents, which have already shown their failure, not only in Africa but also in Asia and Latin America. The content of its policy is to negotiate a better place in the world market in the face of the evident weakening of French imperialism -weak in its homeland economy and hit by class struggle in its own territory. That is why the new military government of Niger is hastening to set up a civilian cabinet to dialogue with other imperialist countries through Chad and by receiving US officials. And it is flirting with a pro-Russian alliance including other countries of the region, which is already beginning to take shape up in Moscow and from the various interventions of the Wagner group in the region. This crisis is part of the world situation opened by the 2008 crisis, the pandemic and the current war between Ukraine and Russia. The situation in Ukraine and its government, which acts as an agent of NATO interests, is also a mirror in which several ECOWAS countries are looking at, as they do not want to embark on a long, exhausting war with an uncertain outcome. For this reason, diplomatic channels are open, although military confrontation cannot be discounted either.

We, revolutionaries of the TRFI, pronounce against any fratricidal war between Niger and its neighbors, and for the defeat of any imperialist military aggression against the colonial and semicolonial peoples. We also warn that no nationalist government proposes an anti-imperialist solution for the oppressed peoples of the continent. It is the working class, through its class organizations, like the miners' unions that show their power in South Africa, that must set themselves up as the leadership in the struggle against the old and new foreign masters. For that, it must impose its program and a workers’ government, overthrowing dictator and democrat partners of this or that faction of imperialism. We call for the internationalist unity of the working class, above all with the proletariat of France and the United States, for the withdrawal of imperialist troops from Niger and all of Africa. We call on the revolutionary forces fighting for the dictatorship of the proletariat to set up an International Conference to discuss how to confront the imperialist decomposition that is dragging our class and the whole of humanity ever more rapidly into barbarism.


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