Analysis :Perspective's situation room on Niger

Aug 1, 2023, 10:56 AM | Article By: Essa Bokarr Sy

What should be taken into account before any contingent is deployed to Niger is an open ended question that should not leave any stone unturned!


Geographic location as the custodian of strategy

Niger's geographic location is both strategic and advantageous for the local forces or armed fighters surrounding those on the seat of power as we speak. The Sahelian country's close proximity to Mali Libya and Chad will without any doubt in mind end up generating apathy for the new regime where preventive diplomacy's poker card is left aside.

Mark you! Mali would not be sympathetic towards any force deployed to dislodge the current junta in Niger. Logically speaking, Bamako's own junta would then not be accused of being irrational where it chooses to believe that success for that force could mean dislodging them alongside.  Ultimately, the regime in Bamako would be ignited by the  survival instinct not alliance based on principle or ideology. Bear in mind that there  is what soldiers call "esprit de corp" -  a "cult like believe" among men and women in uniform regardless of their respective countries or location.  Who knows if most of those who are heading these juntas were students of the same military schools within and outside of Africa?  What connects them would be far more than what separates them.


Where it is about Chad one should expect the same apathy and a defensive position than supporting forces deployed to Niamey to dislodge the regime. An old adage comes into the equation here. "Birds of the same feathers flock together"!


Demography, identity while speeding up the formation of a "hegemony of strange bed fellows"

ECOWAS must be extremely careful as far as the above referenced pointer!

Where a contingent is deployed especially with emotionally charged sound bites that are stemming from speeches and memos, it  will obviously  speed up a "hegemony of strange bed fellows".  What does that mean? It means terrorist sleeper cells, "mercenary sleeper cells" will find solace in Niamey because the head of the junta would proceed on his  "suicidal journey" by aligning himself with  the forces of chaos out of fear or frustration. Elements of the forces of chaos will pose as envoys of a "legitimate course" to protect a comrade in Arms. In this case the comrade in arms would be the junta leader in Niamey.  He would of course lean more and more towards any party he can go into the trenches with than any other force from an ECOWAS member state. By extension form alliance with Mercenaries and terrorists from Libya, Chad and Mali to justify a course he believes in, even where adversaries see it otherwise.


Another "junior" Muamar Ghadafi or Charles Taylor in the making

Don't rule out that the new leader in Niamey could  emerge as another Muamar Ghadafi or Charles Taylor in that area. He can be transformed into a recruiter of foreign fighters including child soldiers to the effect. He can resort to creating a replica of newer versions of the former Mataba camp or training center of Charles Taylor in Nimba County and so on. Nothing stops him from inviting or coordinating operations with  desperate terrorist or Mercenaries. I mean nothing. Time will vindicate these analysis in due course Inshaa Allah. Still on the survival instinct!  These forces of chaos would   rally around the Niamey strong man to wreak havoc by using their killer instincts. What will solidify their union?   He will promise to compensate them with support where ever they may want to destabilise or attack. Turning Niger into a safe haven for these sleeper cells will be the worst mistake ECOWAS has ever committed!

Lest we want to forget how men like Charles Taylor, Foday Sonko, the late Kukoie Samba Sanyang alias Dr Manneh became "pets" of Ghadaffi in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s. Where did it all end? Now let's look into the "spill-over-effect".


"Spill - over -  effect"

It is the same "S-O-E" I signaled when the war in Sudan started. Where are we at today? No one can say they have not felt the spillover effect from the trenches of that nation? How many countries have so far felt it as far as loss of life and or cost of evacuating their nationals from Khartoum? Every nation has either been pinched or scratched by the Sudan war!  A fact none of us can deny. Years before the Sudan war began the same effect crossed borders from Chad to Central African Republic through men like Baba Ladeh a faction leader.  Whose first excuse was fighting for fulani herdsmen whose cattle were blocked from grazing in the forest of CAR. Later it led to what? Balaha and Christians butchering each other! It equally led to the removal of a leader in CAR.

Another X factor of the equation we always consider a taboo or some of us don't even know is there, is the creepy way the "New Cold War" is positioning itself between the poles of the geostrategic arena. What do you understand out of the way these military coups are taking place in West Africa in particular?  Where the Ukraine -  Russia war has entrenched  hard feelings between the five permanent members of UN Security Council, we on our side should

Remain inquisitive not indifferent!


Cross  border crimes, human trafficking, making it possible for Niger to  force backway trotters to join the Niger army

Niger's position makes it possible for the junta in Niamey to force young men and women  dubbed herein as the "backway trotters" to join the ranks and fight against any intervention force from ECOWAS in particular. Hasn't this already started? 6th sense believes it recruitment is already an ongoing process!  Libya has had gangs headed by people from Niger itself. These are gangs  engaging in human trafficking, slavery or forcing our young ones to fight as Mercenaries.

Nothing would stop those gang leaders who crossed borders to Northern Mali to repeat the same in Niger. We cannot ignore the fact that marauding fighters would find solace in Niger where the junta feels alienated and attacked instead of being engaged.

What ECOWAS should have had in place was a mechanism to avert coups by using anticipatory intelligence, collect facts, organize a HARD TALK SESSION with leaders debrief them on what causes these rising tensions before penning sanctions. Experts in the field of intelligence gathering and or security related matters should urge or guide leaders in the sub region within frankness and honesty to avoid the causes before discussing the effects or sanctioning elements who use the effects to disrupt processes with force.

Where causes are not addressed effects will always be polluted.