Coup: Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, Time Bomb In Africa

 By Suleiman Umaru

 In spite of the propaganda being adopted by the coup plotters who seized power in Niger Republic on Wednesday, July 26, 2023, that the deposed President Mohammed Bazoum government had authorised France to carry out an attack on the Presidential Palace to free him, Emmanuel Macron, the French President is not ready to take it.

 The French President may have sent message to Gen. Abdourahmane, and the other Leaders of the recent coup detat, in Niger Republic that the country will not hesitate to take immediate and uncompromising action against the putschists which had toppled the Baoum government if French citizens and interest were attacked.

Catherine Colnna, the French Foreign minister may have spoken the mind of President Macron when she asserted that ‘’it was still possible ‘’ to restore Bazoum to power notwithstanding the Niger coup Leaders propaganda.  The French Foreign minister’s comments is coming on the heels of the Leadership of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, which appears to have agreed to use the regional body military might ‘’ to restore Constitutional Order in Niger.

The regional economic bloc was said to have already initiated the first move to remove the Niger putschists who were said to have arrested some top officials including ministers of the toppled Bazoum government from power as it has imposed strict sanctions, including suspending all commercial and Financial transactions between its member states  and Niger. The Economic bloc under the Leadership of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, President and Commander –in-Chief of the Nigeria Armed Forces were said to have also freezed the country’s asses in regional central banks.

Many believe that with the steps so far taken by France and the Leadership of the regional Organisation to force the Niger coup plotters, it would have a deep impact on them that they will not wait for the damage to be done in the poor West African country which relies on imports from the neighbouring Nigeria, the most populous country in the African Continent for over 90% of its power supply needs, before restoring the Legitimate Bazoum government to power.

The sanctions would be disastrous and Niger new military rulers have no option but to hasten efforts to find solution to the problem Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou, the country’s Prime Minster had said.

He had said that for a country that relies on the international Community to survive such an imposed by the ECOWAS, coupled to the fact that the Land and air borders are closed have thrown the people into severe hardship that may snowball into deep economic crisis in the country that may be worse than what is currently happening in the north African country Sudan.

 Ibrahim Traore, a 35 year- old Army Captain and Burkina Faso, military Leader, may have known that if the ECOWAS, Leadership succeeds in pushing out Gen. Tiachni, led military government of Niger, he will be the next target that he has started hobnobbing Vladmir Putin, the Russian President who supports coups.

Gen.Tchiani” Niger New Military Leader

Only recently, the 35 year –old, Burkina Faso, junta Leader, who has dubbed himself, Interim President, was in Moscow, on the invitation of President Putin for the Russia-Africa Summit.’’I would like to thank you for accepting our invitation  and finding the opportunity  to take part  in the work of the second  Russia- African  Summit’’, he had remarked. He may have made the Burkina Faso Army Captain and military Leader of his country to feel very important   when he declared that: We are pleased to welcome   you to Russia and I am glad to meet with you’’.

   The Burkina Faso strong man was said to have used opportunity of the visit  to seek the support  of Russia  government.The Burkina Army Captain, may have gladdened the heart of the Russian President when he said ‘’there is  a  desire  for the country to change politics   which has led it to turn back to the traditional  Western Partners are turning their back on them and they have no option but  to turn towards Russia, described a  true friend , who had always  supported them from the times of decolonisation.

He was said to have appealed to the Russian Leader ‘’to help his country establish a Nuclear plant in order to meet its energy needs and also sell electricity to neighbouring countries’’. We have critical need for energy because we are in the heart of the West African sub-region where we have energy deficit, he had said. The Burkinabe Leader who may have said what the Russian Leader may want to hear to support he country’s special military operation in neighbouring Ukraine may have extracted a promise from him ‘’free grain export to African countries.

Russian had terminated the grain deal with Ukraine following the refusal of the Western partners, including the North American country of the United States, US, to allow safe export of its grain to the over sea Customers as against the safe maritime export of the Ukrainian grain.

The Russian President may have touched a key issue which was dear to the heart of the Burkinabe Leader the reopening of the country’s Embassy closed in Niamey, the Niger Capital since 1992. President Putin, was said to have told the Burkina Faso Army Captain and Leader  that a number of steps have already been taken ‘’ to reopen the closed Embassy as soon as possible’’.

Many believe that the Burkina Faso new Leadership could turn towards Russia because the World Bank/IMF and the Western powers have turned their back on the country over the recent forceful removal of the democratically elected government of Bazoum.

Bazoum: Deposed President Of Niger Republic By The Military

InJune, 2023, the Russian government was said to have contributed the North American country of the United States n10million   as voluntary assistance to a number of countries in the West African  sub-region with Burkina Faso  $2.5 million share of the amount.

The involvement of Russia, currently at war with the neighbouring Ukraine in the Niger, crisis, may have informed why  Atiku Abubakar, a former Vice President, during Olusegun Obasanjo’s eight  years Administration   has urged the ECOWAS Leadership to trade with caution over plans ”to  travel  the road of  military  hostilities”  to resolve  the Leadership crisis in the West African country.

The former Nigerian Vice President, who was the Presidential Candidate in the Opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in the last Presidential election  had said that ‘’using military intervention in Niger as threatened by the regional body   will exacerbate the status quo’’, insisting that  that crisis  requires  diplomatic  engagements   to resolve’’ in any attack President Tinubu, the Nigerian born ECOWAS, Chairman, may have read the handwriting on the wall that that country may be target  for attack  because of the tension that has been created  in  the West African sub-region  over the  planned  military intervention in Niger Republic,  described  as a development that has caused  international attention . Mustapha Sani, the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, Comptroller in charge of the Jibia Special Border Command advise to Nigerians against travelling to the Niger Republic being hit  with  the ECOWAS , sanctions , speaks volume. 

The NIS,Comptroller, to man  the numerous  Borders around Katsina state  at the instance of the Comptroller General, was said to have deployed  Immigration personnel, to help curtail illegal movement  from Niger Republic in this trouble ties.  

It was not surprising why on Thursday, August 3, 2023, Tinubu, the ECOWAS Chairman, dispatch a high powered delegation led by Abdulsalami Abubakar, a retired Army General and former Nigerian Head of State, to Niger Republic to expeditiously to resolve the crisis.Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, had confirmed that the special envoy are already in Niamey, the Niger Capital to meet the paries.

While the ECOWAS Leaders and the international Community are making efforts to see to the restoration of the democratically elected President Bazoum, the trio of Captain Traore of Burkina Faso, Col. Assimi Goita, the 43 year-old military Leader of Mali and Gen. Tchiani, the new military Leader of Niger, appears to have formed a front with Russian support to pose as a threat to the Authority of Heads of States and Government of the ECOWAS.              

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