In an interview with ARISE NEWS on Friday, global affairs analyst, Paul Ejime, has said that there is an anti-french sentiment growing in West Africa due to the policies of France.
Commenting on the brewing crisis in Niger following a military coup that ousted President Mohamed Bazoum, he advised ECOWAS not to be drawn into the country’s internal affairs and externalise it into a war.
He said, “Can you imagine Niger produces uranium which is a prized resource, but 80% of the population do not have power supply. Meanwhile, France is using that uranium to power the electricity supply for about 60% of its population.
“As at this moment, about 14 of the countries that are using the CFA Franc are domiciling their money in the French treasury, and they have to borrow this money with interest.”
He spoke of Niger having French and American military bases in the country while being the poorest country in the world.
He said, “It is not about the population but about these foreign interests and their collaborators inside the country. France all these years needs to recalibrate its policies towards Africa. It is not working, it has impoverished the people, and the people want to take back their country. I think that is what is happening.”
Ejime spoke on other possible internal issues in Niger saying, “we cannot remove the fact that (coup leader) Tiani was trying to be opportunistic in trying to remove his former boss, but everything has now played into his hands.
“Bazoum, himself, was not standing on solid grounds and wanted to carry out an overhaul of military hierarchy. It was said that Tiani was to be removed from the army on the 27th when the coup happened on the 26th.
“Some diplomatic sources are also saying that perhaps Issoufou, the president that anointed Bazoum, felt that he was being ostracised, so he wanted to teach this guy a lesson. Maybe they thought if the coup makers could have detained him then he would come in and negotiate so that he would now bounce back, and he would recognize him as his godfather.
“These are the things that have come into the basket, and then you’ll now bring external forces.”
Ejime also identified that ECOWAS has not handled this case like they usually do.
He said, “You’ll start with a security mediation committee that will meet first, and then the chief of defence staff will meet and then they escalate issues to the heads of states, but in this case, the heads of states met and said they were giving an ultimatum. That is supposed to be the trump card, the last resort, but now they have played their last card first, and now, everybody is running to catch up.”