After a sequence of coups, one nation after one other is transferring to expel the traces of former empires
By Denis Rogatyuk, a Russian-Australian journalist and author primarily based in Latin America, worldwide director of El Ciudadano media platform, considered one of Chile’s largest impartial media sources
Africa is the cradle of human civilization and the planet’s richest continent when it comes to pure sources. However in response to Captain Ibrahim Traore, the president of Burkina Faso, youthful generations can not perceive why, regardless of its riches, Africa continues to be the poorest.
Throughout the continent now we have seen uprisings and armed rebellions by anti-colonialist army leaders who’ve sought to reclaim their sovereignty from European imperialist powers, notably France.
Guinea, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger are simply among the nations that make up the collective of former French colonies in West Africa. They’ve lengthy served as the important thing supply of pure sources for France and different European powers. Niger provides 15% of the uranium wanted for French nuclear reactors. Burkina Faso is a key exporter of gold, whereas Guinea is an important entry and exit level for commerce between France and its former colonies. Mali is one other main exporter of gold, and has been a battleground between the federal government and numerous armed Islamist teams.
The map of West Africa started to vary radically in 2021. Like dominos, pro-French regimes started to fall to army uprisings, beginning with Mali in Might 2021 and the coup led by Assimi Goita, who instantly demanded that the French army depart the nation. The Central African Republic additionally expelled French troops in June 2021. This was adopted by the army takeover in Guinea by Mamady Doumbouya, a former French legionnaire, in September 2021. One yr later, Traore grew to become the world’s youngest president after seizing energy in Burkina Faso, and he proceeded to expel the French army in January 2023. Lastly, the army revolt in Niger on July 26 led by Abdourahamane Tchiani, now assuming the presidency, additionally expelled French forces and banned the export of uranium to France.
The case of Burkina Faso and Traore is especially fascinating. Throughout his current journey to St. Petersburg for the Russia-Africa summit, Traore gave a speech during which he referred to as Russia a part of the African household. He condemned the looting of the continent by European powers, and ended with the slogan “Homeland or demise! We will win!” – echoing the phrases of Ernesto Che Guevara and the nationwide motto of Cuba. Many have in contrast Traore to Thomas Sankara, the revolutionary chief of Burkina Faso from 1983 to 1987, who was additionally referred to as the “African Che Guevara.” Sankara likewise expelled French forces, nationalized the nation’s sources, and carried out socialist insurance policies of redistribution, earlier than being assassinated in a pro-French coup.
So, what are France and its companions prone to do now? America and Britain have already lower all help to Niger and its allies in response to their ban on exports of uranium to France. On July 30, the Financial Group of West African States (ECOWAS), a confederation that features lots of France’s former colonies, issued an ultimatum to Niger – Tchiani has one week to step down or a army intervention would start with the backing of France. Nigeria, a key French ally within the area and the chief of ECOWAS, was chosen because the launchpad for a potential army intervention into Niger. Nevertheless, the senate of Nigeria rejected the demand of the extremely unpopular president, Bola Tinabu, to authorize army motion towards its neighbour. The ultimatum has since expired, and Niger proceeded to shut its airspace to any industrial plane.
The presidents of Burkina Faso and Mali have responded that any army intervention in Niger will quantity to a declaration of struggle towards them. However the African states even have an ace up their sleeve – their long-time friendship with Russia. On the current Africa-Russia summit in St. Petersburg, delegations from 49 African nations have been in attendance. Russian President Vladimir Putin declared assist for Africa’s battle towards neo-colonialism, stating that Moscow had written off $23 billion in African debt and that greater than 50,000 tons of grain will probably be delivered freed from cost to the continent.
The friendship between the peoples of Africa and Russia stretches again to the 18th century. The story of Abram Gannibal, the African common within the service of the Russian Military and the great-grandfather of the legendary poet Alexander Pushkin, is among the many most fascinating elements of the lore of Russian-African relations. Introduced as a toddler slave to Peter the Nice from Constantinople, he was free of servitude and educated on the tsar’s palace. He would rise not solely to turn out to be a high-ranking army officer within the Russian Military, but in addition a tutor to a younger Alexander Suvorov, the famed common who defeated the Ottoman Empire in two wars amongst different accomplishments.
Within the twilight of the scramble for Africa, just one nation stood impartial among the many sea of colonial conquests – Ethiopia. The tried Italian invasion and subjugation led to a catastrophic failure for the colonizers, with Russia offering essential help to the Ethiopian nation combating for its sovereignty and independence. The Soviet Union grew to become the “armory of the oppressed” for a lot of younger nations of Africa looking for their independence from their colonial masters, as arms and ammunition produced in USSR have been delivered to the various revolutionary and anti-colonial forces within the area, such because the MPLA in Angola, the ANC in South Africa, the PAIGC and its chief Amilcar Cabral in Guinea-Bissau, and lots of others. The reminiscence of this solidarity remains to be contemporary within the minds of many Africans, younger and outdated.
The assist and admiration for Russia echoes throughout the African continent, past the previous colonies of France. Through the mass rally of the Financial Freedom Fighters of South Africa, the group’s chief, Julius Malema, condemned the actions of France on the continent and proclaimed: “We’re Putin, and Putin is us! And we’ll by no means assist imperialism towards President Putin!” A real sense of change appears to be sweeping throughout Africa, away from the outdated European colonizers and in direction of a brand new multipolar world.
The statements, views and opinions expressed on this column are solely these of the creator and don’t essentially characterize these of RT.
You possibly can share this story on social media: