Africa France Military News Niger

Pan-Africanist Activist Kemi Seba Arrives in Niamey

A couple dozen people turned up at Niamey’s airport on Monday afternoon to greet Kemi Seba, a Franco-Beninese activist known for his criticism of France’s colonial legacy in west Africa.

Seba who heads the Urgence Panafricaniste movement is expected to address rallies in support of Niger’s military authorities.

“It is very important that the Nigerien population knows that although France gives the feeling of wanting to leave, in reality it is a strategy on its part to try to gain time. The people of Niger asked that the French army leave as soon as possible, Macron in his colonial arrogance says the French army will leave by the end of the year, as if it was up to him to decide when the colonist should pack up and go,” said Seba, President of the NGO Urgences Panafricanistes.

Seba’s trip to Niger came just hours after Paris announced it was withdrawing its forces and envoy before the end of the year, despite initially vowing to keep its ambassador in the Sahel country. 

The activist also had tough words for regional bloc ECOWAS which has threatened a military intervention in Niger.

“The leaders of ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) want to continue more than ever to threaten Niger, want to attack Niger, to commit a crime against humanity by imposing inhuman sanctions against the population of Niger. We must mobilize since the war is continuing, it is an economic war, it is a war of suffocation and we must all be present to resist, that is why we came to be by your side, to remind you that Niger is not alone,” he said. 

France has about 1,500 troops stationed in Niger. Their withdrawal points to the country’s growing isolation in West Africa, according to experts.