Niger, Algeria up in arms against military intervention

Niger, Algeria up in arms against military intervention

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in close contact with Algerian diplomacy, reacted Thursday, August 10, to the announcement by ECOWAS of the deployment of its “standby force” by pleading for a negotiated solution to the crisis. in Niger. A random ? The Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs was received Thursday, in Washington, at the State Department, when the latter stood out from the military option.

Despite the privileged and historic links that exist between the Algerian army and the Russian authorities, the security axis in Africa between Algiers and Washington is very real. It’s because the American authorities, traditionally pragmatic, know how to knock on the right doors in Africa.

Algeria has retained a glorious anti-colonial past, a solid tradition of non-interference and shares hundreds of kilometers of borders with Mali and Niger. Hence the major role played by Algerian diplomacy in the whole of the Sahel and, in recent days, in the attempt to avoid falling into the politics of the worst in Niger.

Namely, an inter-African conflict and a general conflagration caused by a squad of frightened heads of state, but from which no one would grow up.

Note that it is funny to discover the Ivorian President, brought to power thanks to the support of the French army, who is up against the Nigerien “putschists”.

Another sign of hope, the visit to Niamey of a respected Nigerian personality went relatively unnoticed, this Wednesday August 9: that of Elhaj Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, ex-king of Kano and naive of the Tidjaniya brotherhood.

This tribal leader enjoys great moral authority within the Hausa ethnic group. Which are a people of the Sahel mainly established in northern Nigeria and southern Niger. They constitute one of the most important ethnic groups in Africa by their number and their influence. If the Senate of Nigeria opposed the armed intervention of ECOWAS, it is because of the weight of the elected representatives of the North of the country dominated by this ethnic community.

In both Nigeria and Niger, the Hausa make up a large proportion of the armed forces. The representative of this ethnic group, who was received at length by the head of the junta, also pleaded for a compromise between ECOWAS and the military junta. His influence is considerable, even if his name is probably not known to Emmanuel Macron’s advisers. From Africa, they mainly know Washington and Brussels.

The Quai d’Orsay marginalized

This absence of expertise at the highest level of the French State is aggravated by the sidelining of the Quai d’Orsay, where quality experts remain. So many errors which undoubtedly explain the brutal posture of the French in the face of an unprecedented situation in Niger, where it is a question of showing tact. If only to secure the 1,500 French soldiers still present on the spot, who are not immune to a blunder.

On Friday August 11, a demonstration took place near the French military base in Niamey (Niger). Slogans hostile to France, but also to ECOWAS, are chanted by the protesters, were able to see journalists from AFP and TV5 Monde present on the spot. Protesters are several hundred to be gathered on a roundabout in the Nigerien capital, a few streets from the French base and Diori Hamani international airport

What passes a little quickly for an anti-French feeling in Africa is much more a legitimate criticism of public opinion aware of the French military presence and of an Emmanuel Macron vengeful by a growing part of African youth