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France’s quasi-empire crumbles as demand for full independence comes higher

28 August 2023 08:30 (UTC+04:00)
France’s quasi-empire crumbles as demand for full independence comes higher
Elnur Enveroglu
Elnur Enveroglu
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The 21st century has already begun to break the dogmas established by many empires and powerful states as an era of realities. For example, with the collapse of the Soviet empire, a number of states were recognized as fully independent states, while ensuring their territorial integrity. However, there are also some empires that, although they try to maintain themselves as imperialists, internal protests and pressures lead them to destruction. Because as is known, according to Newton's Third Law of Motion 'for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction'. The more the pressure increases, the more it creates the opposite effect. The current situation in France shows exactly that.

Currently, Paris is on the verge of saying goodbye to Africa. The reason is very simple - violation of human rights, racism and colonialism. Unless France abandons its outdated behavior, in the near future, other territories will have to completely withdraw from its control.

France detaches from Niger

Sections of the military had staged a coup against Mohamed Bazoum, Niger’s democratically elected president, just before 3 August, the country’s National Day, when it marked 63 years since gaining nominal independence from France in 1960.

Crowds were chanting “Down with France” as they targeted the country’s embassy, smashing windows and setting fire to perimeter walls. As Bazoum remained under house arrest, his close allies in Paris feared that the safety of westerners could no longer be guaranteed. A bullish statement from the Élysée Palace vowed that Emmanuel Macron “will not tolerate any attack against France and its interests”. If anybody was hurt, retaliation would come “immediately and uncompromisingly”, said Macron, sounding every inch the imperial master issuing a stark warning to unruly natives causing trouble more than 2,000 miles away.

After three weeks, on Tuesday, the African Union strongly opposed the military intervention in Niger by any non-African countries that Macron conceived. For him, of course, there remains a loophole to arrange his punitive expedition to Niger through a smaller bloc - the Economic Community of West African Countries (ECOWAS). But even there, Paris faces problems.

The other day, an attempt to involve Nigeria, the largest ECOWAS country with a serious army, failed in this matter. Its president rushed to loudly support the invasion, but parliament intervened and banned the participation of the Nigerian military in the operation. At the moment, only one country with a relatively large army is ready to participate in it - Senegal. Two more states - Benin and Côte d'Ivoire - can only send symbolic contingents.
Meanwhile, it will not only be Niger itself that will oppose the operation. Neighboring Mali and Burkina Faso have already pledged to treat the attack on Niger as an attack on themselves.

The current Niger crisis can thus be linked to former colonial relationships being restructured as Françafrique – a formidable neocolonial nexus across sub-Saharan Africa encompassing economic, political, security and cultural ties and alliances centred on the French language and values.

Paris' dependence on Niger's uranium

To operate the fifty-six nuclear reactors in France's eighteen power plants, operator EDF requires an average of around 8,000 tons of natural uranium every year. Following the cessation of mining on French soil in the early 2000s, France turned to several countries simultaneously for its supplies. Therefore Niger is considered one of France's top three uranium suppliers.

According to the report on a website, for the time being, Orano has announced that it will continue its mining activities, despite the ongoing tensions in Niger. "To date, activities at the operational sites in Arlit and at the headquarters in Niamey are continuing with an adapted organization in the context of the curfew in place throughout Niger."

How France earns the hatred of Africa

There are several important reasons for the rise of African resistance to France. One of them is that Paris interferes much more in the politics of its former colonies than do other former colonial empires. Seven of the nine francophone countries in West Africa do not even have their own currency, but use the so-called CFA franc - guaranteed by Paris and depriving them of the tools to conduct their own financial policy. Paris has entangled the region not only with a network of military bases, but also created corrupt puppet regimes there, whose leaders, in collusion with the Parisian elites, have been stealing and oppressing their peoples for decades. At the same time, the white gentlemen in Paris, ranting about democracy, like to support regimes on the Black Continent that are based on minorities - the Fulani, the Tuareg, the Arabs.

And only when these African friends of France quarrel with Paris, human rights activists and liberal media immediately find signs of “authoritarianism”, facts of “human rights violations” and evidence of “corruption” in them. So, for example, it happened with the former president of Chad, Idriss Deby, with the former leader of Burkina Faso - both were declared "scoundrels" despite their decades-long friendship with Paris.

The other reason is that French leaders are destabilizing entire parts of that continent. For example, blaming Paris for the recent fall of the pro-French regime in Mali, Western liberal media write that the country has been destabilized as a result of the relocation of extremist groups that have bred in Libya since 2011. But who toppled the government of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya and wreaked havoc there in which jihadist groups flourished? Ah, the president of the then France did this to cover up the traces of the bribes he took from lynched leader.
In general, the situation facing France is an inadequate approach both in power and in the traditional political administration inherited from them. For this reason, France began to lose its reputation in Africa. Now those traditional methods are no longer useful. In the colonies, the puppet rulers no longer have the power they once had, and the dominance of the will of the people cuts off the connection between Paris and those vassals.

The overthrow of the pro-French puppet regime in Niger is just the latest example of what rotten regimes Paris supports. Since 1990, 78 percent of all 27 coups d'état in Sub-Saharan Africa have taken place in Francophone states. This interesting statistic speaks volumes about Paris. After all, the problem is not only in the long history of colonial oppression of non-European peoples - all Western countries (and the Russian Empire as part of the West) have polluted themselves in this monstrous policy, and Africans still have to deal with its consequences. Another thing is more important, as elementary statistics show, for some reason there are still much more problems in those non-Western countries where there is traditionally a serious French influence, usually associated with French colonization.

Moving on the way to nowhere

Imperialism may seem like a regime that will last forever. Even those who run that regime can be extremely powerful and financially rich. But in the end, all empires are doomed to collapse - this has been repeated at all stages of history. For example, the Soviet regime also lasted for 70 years, but eventually went bankrupt. Today, France is experiencing the same fate. France believes that African states are left in the 19th century. However, today's Macron government is not aware that times have changed. Now, as everywhere else, people in Africa understand all political ambitions. No African is willing to sacrifice his life for a French noble anymore. Already, Algeria sees and understands France's political crimes transparently. They understand that the hatred and racism against them is hidden in the false concept of “democracy” of those noble people in and around the French government.

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Elnur Enveroglu is AzerNews’ deputy editor-in-chief, follow him on @ElnurMammadli1

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