Faced with the wave of regime changes in French-speaking Africa, the French media are stunned. They can’t explain the rejection of France.
The old refrains about colonial exploitation are unconvincing. For example, Paris is exploiting Niger’s uranium, not at market price, but at a ridiculously low one. However, the putschists have never raised this argument. They’re talking about something else entirely. Accusations of Russian manipulation are no more credible. Firstly, because Russia doesn’t seem to be behind the putschists in Mali, Guinea, Burkina-Faso, Niger or Gabon, but above all because the evil far predates their arrival. Russia only arrived in Africa after its victory in Syria, in 2016, whereas the problem dates back to at least 2010, if not 2001.
As always, what makes the situation unreadable is forgetting how it came about.
Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States assigned a role in Africa to its vassal, France. The aim was to maintain the old order there, while waiting for AfriCom to settle in, and for the Pentagon to extend to the dark continent the destruction of political institutions it was already carrying out in the “wider Middle East”.  Gradually, Republican politics gave way to tribal politics. From one point of view, this was an emancipation from heavy French aid; from another, it was a formidable step backwards.
In 2010, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, probably on Washington’s advice, took the initiative to settle the Ivorian conflict. While the country was riven by tribal conflict, an operation led first by ECOWAS, then by Barack Obama’s cousin  Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, attempted to negotiate the departure of Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo. Their problem is not Gbagbo’s authoritarian regime, but the fact that he has transformed himself from a submissive CIA agent into a defender of his nation. Paris intervened militarily after the presidential election to arrest Gbagbo – allegedly to stop genocide – and replace him with Alassane Ouattara, a long-standing friend of the French ruling class. Laurent Gbagbo was subsequently tried by the International Criminal Court, which, after an interminable trial, recognized that he had never committed genocide and that France was therefore not justified in intervening militarily.
In 2011, President Nicolas Sarkozy, advised by Washington, committed France to Libya. Once again, the official aim was to stop a genocide committed by a dictator against his own people. To lend credibility to this accusation, the CIA, which was behind France’s actions, organized false testimony before the Human Rights Council in Geneva. In New York, the United Nations Security Council authorized the major powers to intervene to stop the massacre, which did not exist. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev turned a blind eye. U.S. President Barack Obama wanted AfriCom to finally begin operations in Africa, where he did not reside, as his soldiers were still stationed in Germany. But at the last minute, AfriCom’s commander refused to fight against Muamar Gaddafi alongside the jihadists who had fought his comrades in Iraq (the US military still hasn’t admitted the CIA’s double game of supporting the jihadists against Russia, often to the detriment of Westerners). Barack Obama therefore called on NATO, forgetting that he had previously promised not to mobilize it against a Southern country. Nevertheless, Muamar Gaddafi was tortured and lynched, and Libya was dismembered.However, the Libyan Arab Jamahariya, which was not at all a dictatorship but a regime inspired by the French socialists of the 19th century and the Paris Commune, was the only African force aiming to unite Arabs and blacks. Gaddafi wanted to liberate the continent as he had liberated his compatriots from Western colonialism. He was even preparing to pilot, with IMF Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a common currency for several African states. His fall awakened his enemies. Blacks were once again massacred by Arabs, even if they were Libyan nationals, and reduced to slavery, under the insensitive eyes of the Western victors. The poor African states economically supported by Libya collapsed, starting with Mali . Arab jihadists, brought to power in Tripoli by NATO, supported certain Tuaregs against blacks in general. The problem gradually spread to the whole of Sahelian Africa.
Yet, unable to learn from these crimes, French President François Hollande organized a new regime change in Mali. In March 2012, as President Amadou Toumani Touré’s term of office drew to a close and he was not standing for re-election, a group of U.S.-trained officers overthrew him, without being able to explain their action. He interrupted the current presidential campaign and appointed Dioncounda Traore as “transitional president”. This sleight of hand was endorsed by ECOWAS… now chaired by Alassane Ouattara. Unsurprisingly, transitional president Dioncounda Traore called on France for help in fighting the jihadists who were attacking him. Paris’ idea was to station troops in Mali so as to be able to attack Algeria, its real target, from the rear. This was “Operation Serval”. Aware that they were next on the list, the Algerian generals cracked down hard on a hostage-taking by jihadists at the In Amenas oil site. In so doing, they discouraged France from intervening against their people.
No problem! France reorganized its forces, calling it “Operation Barkhane”. The French army was placed at the disposal of its American overlord. Everything was organized by AfriCom, still stationed in Germany. French troops, now backed up by members of the European Union (Denmark, Spain, Estonia, the United Kingdom, Sweden and the Czech Republic), destroyed the targets indicated to them by AfriCom. In this formerly French region, the French military had good contact with the local population, whereas the Americans faced a language barrier.
At this stage, the first observation is that operation Barkhane, regardless of its results, was not legitimate. True, it was officially a question of the West containing the jihadists, but any Sahelian understands that it is these same Westerners who created the jihadists in the region by destroying Libya. And that’s not all.
Let’s take a step back. Let’s remember that all this began with the Pentagon’s determination to destroy African political structures with AfriCom, just as it had begun to destroy those of the “wider Middle East” with CentCom. On May 11, 2022, the US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, the Straussian Victoria Nuland, convened a meeting in Morocco of the 85 states participating in the coalition against Daesh. She announced the next step in the program: the jihadists are re-forming Daesh in the Sahel. They have weapons, officially destined for Ukraine. Soon, the whole region will be one huge inferno . In November, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari confirmed the massive influx of US weapons into the hands of jihadists in the Sahel and the Lake Chad basin, initially destined for Ukraine.
It was in the face of this existential risk that the soldiers of Mali, Burkina-Faso and Niger took power to defend their people.
It’s important to understand that for years, African leaders have been complaining about France’s support for the jihadists it is supposed to be fighting. The point is not to blame the French military, but the role of its secret services working for the United States.
Right from the start of Operation Serval, Syrian jihadists complained that France had abandoned them in favor of their Sahelian counterparts. And President François Hollande had to hold back his troops until the Qatari instructors of the Malian jihadis withdrew. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov discussed the matter with his French counterpart Laurent Fabius, who replied with a laugh: “It’s our realpolitik!
A sanctuary of al-Qaeda military camps was formed between the towns of Ghat (near the Algerian border) and Sabbah (close to Niger) in the Fezzan desert of southern Libya. According to the very serious Canard enchaîné, these jihadist academies were organized by the British and French secret services.
Three years ago, on October 8, 2021, Mali’s Prime Minister, Choguel Kokalla Maïga, gave an interview to RIA Novosti  that has been widely picked up and commented on throughout the region, but not in France, where no one but our readers know about it.
According to Yaou Sangaré Bakar, Niger’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Nigeriens Abroad, who wrote to the Security Council (Ref. S/2023/636), last month French agents freed terrorists who had been prisoners. They were rounded up in a valley in the village of Fitili (28 km northwest of Yatakala), where a planning meeting was held with the aim of attacking military positions in the tri-border area. Sixteen terrorist leaders were apprehended in three operations, including two in Niger and one in Mali.
In passing, Yaou Sangaré Bakar’s letter raises important questions about the role of ECOWAS , questions which are not new and have been raised since the change of regime in Côte d’Ivoire. This international institution has just imposed sanctions against Niger and mobilized troops to restore constitutional order. But the ECOWAS statutes do not authorize it to impose such sanctions, any more than the UN Charter authorizes it to take military action against one of its members.
The cases of Guinea and Gabon are somewhat different. They are not Lake Chad or Sahel states. They are not yet under threat. Their militaries first rebelled against authoritarian regimes, that of Alpha Condé in Guinea and Ali Bongo in Gabon. Both refused to relinquish power against the wishes of their populations. But the putschists in both countries were quick to blame the French military presence. Simply because they can safely predict that the French army will not defend the interests of the Gabonese, or even the French, but only those of Washington.
War is prepared years in advance. Today, the United States is transferring weapons in the shadow of the conflict in Ukraine. Tomorrow, it will be too late.
Against this backdrop, it is surprising to hear French President Emmanuel Macron preaching the defense of constitutional order. On the one hand, because all these states are in immediate danger, and on the other, because by placing the French army at the service of the ambitions of US leaders, he himself has betrayed his own Constitution.
Source: Voltaire Network