Protests in Niger (AFP photo)


Anti-French sentiments in Africa are on the rise, as the European nation is increasingly seen as a contributor to the challenges that have plagued post-colonial Africa.

On September 2, thousands of people gathered in the Nigerian capital, Niamey, demanding the withdrawal of French troops, AFP reports

The protesters’ demands align with those of the ruling junta, which came to power on July 26 through a coup that ousted President Mohamed Bazoum.

Supporters of Niger’s National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP), a military junta known for its anti-imperialism and pan-Africanism stance, gathered outside the Niger and French airbase in Niamey on September 2, calling for the departure of the French army. Several civic organizations joined the protesters, displaying banners that read “French army, leave our country.”

On September 1, Niger’s military regime accused France of “blatant interference” in supporting the ousted president. Anti-French sentiments in Africa are described as “spreading like wildfire,” as reported by the French newspaper Le Figaro on August 2. In Sudan, protesters burned French flags to express their discontent.

Beyond political influence, the discord with Niger is likely to impact France’s economy. France currently sources one-third of its uranium needs from Niger to generate electricity in its nuclear plants. 

Should Niger halt uranium exports to France, the European country would face the threat of a power shortage, as 70% of its electricity relies on nuclear energy.

However, Paris dismisses these concerns, arguing that its sources of uranium imports are “highly diversified.”

READ: Algeria unveils Niger blueprint for peace


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