Mali Sees Potential ECOWAS Intervention in Niger as 'Cowardly' Neocolonialism
18:26 15.08.2023 (Updated: 18:42 15.08.2023)
© SputnikSadio Camara, Mali's Minister of Defense and Veterans, addresses the plenary session on Africa and the Middle East at the XI Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS), held in the Moscow Region, Russia, on Tuesday, August 15, 2023.
The remarks were made by Malian Defense Minister Sadio Camara during his speech at a plenary session on security in the Middle East and Africa on the sidelines of the XI Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS), held in the Moscow Region, Russia, on Tuesday.
Threats of collective intervention by members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Niger are a "dangerous" and "cowardly" form of neocolonialism for the region, Mali's Defense Minister Sadio Camara has said, recalling the need to stop a "destabilizing and predatory" order.
"Regional and sub-regional institutions, whose financing is also neglected by their own members, survive on external funds and must therefore obey those who pay them. They punish their members with foreign dictates at the behest of neocolonial powers," Camara said in his remarks at a plenary session on the Middle East and Africa on the sidelines of the 11th Moscow Conference on International Security on Tuesday.
He added that by imitating their "masters", these countries continue to "provoke ridicule and mobilize the awakened peoples against themselves". He noted that Mali has long been a "victim of this pernicious attitude," which is currently affecting Burkina Faso and Niger.
"The current threats of collective aggression against Niger, which are barely covered by French orders, are the most cowardly and dangerous form of this for the West African community," the Malian official said.
Camara said the most important issue at the moment is to stop this "destabilizing and predatory" order, adding that the spread of the internet and social media on the African continent has led to a "leveling of access to information," allowing the peoples of Africa to fully realize their strengths and advantages.
"They are breaking the monopoly of the media and imposed narratives, and it is up to [African] governments to do the same for Africa to take its rightful place on the world stage; the only way out for Africans is to develop their own African policies based on the realities and needs of African peoples," Camara added.
Earlier on Tuesday, Abdourahmane Tchiani, leader of the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP) formed after the coup in Niger, said that some leaders of the ECOWAS are fulfilling the will of their Western "patrons" by making aggressive threats against Niger and its people.
"The CNSP and the government of Niger are surprised and outraged by the threatening attacks of Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara," Tchiani said. "The statement of Ouattara and some of his colleagues, as well as the decisions on sanctions against Niger made at the emergency ECOWAS summit on August 10, is a manifestation of the will of their Western patrons, who are implementing their agenda in West Africa."
According to the coup leader, Western powers are trying to "preserve their interests, which do not meet the aspirations of the people of Niger."
On July 26, President Mohamed Bazoum of Niger was ousted and detained by his presidential guard. General Abdourahmane Tchiani, commander of the guard, declared himself interim president and formed the so-called National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland. The CNSP then appointed Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine, an economist and finance minister, as interim prime minister.
In response to the coup, ECOWAS, of which Niger is a member, condemned the actions, suspended financial aid, and gave the coup leaders one week to reinstate the detained president. They warned of possible military intervention if the demands were not met.
Media reported that Niger's armed forces were deploying reinforcements in preparation for a possible ECOWAS intervention after the 15-member regional bloc's ultimatum expired last week.
Moreover, France, which has a military base in Niger, has rejected the demand of the Nigerien coup leaders to leave the West African country, Antinekar Al-Hassan, the political advisor to ousted President Bazoum, told Sputnik earlier.