Western placemen in Africa are being replaced by sovereign geopolitics
On September 17, 2023, leaders from Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali signed a treaty establishing the Alliance of Sahel States. This military alliance operates as a jointly coordinated defense system, aimed at ensuring the collective security of these nations. Mali’s transitional president, Colonel Assimi Goita, officially declared the establishment of Alliance, as he revealed the signing of Liptako-Gurma charter. This milestone marks the formation of the Alliance of Sahel States, which is aimed at “constructing a framework for collective defense and mutual assistance, ultimately benefiting the population at large”. This occurred amidst Western warnings to potentially intervene in Niger and backing for this stance from certain African nations. ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) representatives have announced their intention to form a global military unit to intervene in Niger. The purpose is to restore the overthrown regime to power and re-establish their governance. ECOWAS is headquartered in Nigeria. The statement made by ECOWAS regarding the threats holds significant weight as the bloc has its own unified armed forces, known as ECOMOG.
Notably, the ECOWAS position is not supported by four out of the 15 members. Apart from Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali, Guinea’s membership was suspended in 2021 due to a military coup. It is noteworthy that the leadership of Guinea has expressed solidarity with Niger and pledges support in case of military intervention. From a geostrategic standpoint, Guinea holds immense potential as a crucial ally for the newly formed Alliance of Sahel States. This is primarily owing to its advantageous access to the Atlantic Ocean, in stark contrast to Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali, which solely share land borders with neighboring nations.
All three of these aforementioned states were previously associated with both ECOWAS and the Western-led Sahel Alliance. Based on its website, Sahel Alliance was established in July 2017 as a collaborative effort between France, Germany, the European Union, the African Development Bank, the World Bank, and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Such partnership seeks to improve global engagement and attain better results in Sahel region. Following its inception, additional full members such as Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Denmark, the European Investment Bank, Norway, Sweden, the United States, and Canada have expressed their support and joined the initiative.
Sahel Alliance also has 9 observers: Japan, Belgium, Switzerland, Finland, the International Finance Corporation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, Ireland, and the International Organization of la Francophonie.
The main objective of Sahel Alliance is to bolster stability and promote overall development in the region. Accordingly, it has allocated funding and coordinated over 1,000 projects with the G5 Sahel countries. These projects shall address different challenges that involve security, demographics, economy, and society.
As we can see, there are globalist roots. These problems were not effectively resolved, but rather exploited as a pretext for further Western intervention. Therefore, it is possible that such activities will cease in the near future.
Another important point is the existence of West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), an alliance of West African countries dedicated to trade and economic integration (functional since 1994), with its main office in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Consequently, this instrument of indirect Western colonialism has also been struck. The reality is that all member states utilize the African franc currency, controlled by Paris, which enables the exercise of influence in their former colonies. France guaranteed the convertibility of African franc in return for certain conditions. Such required the participating countries to allocate 65% of their foreign exchange reserves into a special account held by the French Treasury. And Paris has power to veto the monetary policies of the Franc Zone countries in case of account overdrafts. While Guinea managed to break free from this reliance by implementing its own currency, Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso still maintain their formal membership in UEMOA. To further assert the sovereignty of West African countries, it is crucial to consider dismantling this organization as the next logical step.
In this endeavor, Russia can provide assistance while also supporting the establishment of a unit of account within the BRICS+. To date, Moscow’s actions have primarily revolved around specific operations pertaining to the safeguarding of African nations. As an illustration, in 2021, the Malian authorities opted to enlist the assistance of Wagner Group to establish and uphold order within their borders. This decision elicited widespread condemnation, with France and 15 other NATO members registering their protests. Officially signed by Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Sweden (a NATO candidate), and the United Kingdom, this collective note highlighted their concerns. However, the involvement of French military in Mali has not previously yielded fruitful outcomes in stabilizing the situation or effectively addressing the issue of terrorism. Islamists belonging to the Ansar al-Din group (affiliated with al-Qaeda) have gathered in the northeastern region of Mali, where they once declared the independent state of Azawad, although it remains unrecognized. Mali is also the region’s largest exporter of cotton and the third largest gold producer in Africa. This naturally captures the attention of Western countries, as they seek to maintain control over this state.
Nevertheless, it is Russia that emerges as the preferred partner here. On September 16, 2023, Mali’s state television aired a meeting featuring the transitional president, Assimi Goita, and the Russian Deputy Defense Minister, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov. Accompanying them were Niger’s Defense Minister Salifou Modi and Mali’s Defense Minister Sadio Kamaru. This gathering signifies that the establishment of alliance was not merely a result of negotiations between the Russian Defense Ministry and representatives from Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger, but rather an initiative put forth by Russia. During the talks with Ibrahim Traoré, the head of Burkina Faso, focus was on military-technical cooperation. This involved discussions on the training of Burkina Faso’s military personnel, including pilots, in Russia. The presence of skilled individuals can significantly strengthen their forces and act as a deterrent against external threats or potential conflicts.
Hence, Russia’s substantial support, encompassing guidance on the revamp of Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso’s financial/economic systems, will mark a significant step in perpetuating Africa’s decolonization and enabling genuine sovereignty for these nations. Moreover, the knowledge gained from educational initiatives in other African countries, like Zimbabwe, can be effectively shared with the emerging Alliance of Sahel States. In any event, there will be a demand for fresh workforce in these nations, and solely Russia possesses the capability to deliver top-notch education across diverse domains such as engineering, medicine, humanities, and military training. Unlike other non-Western countries, Russia stands unparalleled in terms of its extensive expertise and the level of trust it has earned.