The New York TimesThe New York Times

A shrinking footprint in Africa for France, the former colonizer that stayed

By Elian Peltier

05 Aug 2023 · 5 min read

informed Summary

  1. Niger is the latest West African nation to find itself in the midst of a military coup, following similar events in Burkina Faso and Mali — all former French colonies — in recent years. The coups have increased resentment towards France, which is seen as maintaining a colonial hold over these nations.

DAKAR, Senegal — The country’s president, a trusted ally of France, was taken hostage in the presidential palace by his own guards in late July. Protesters massed at the French Embassy soon after, setting it on fire and shattering windows. A colonel in uniform appeared late Thursday on state television and announced that the military was ending its cooperation with France.

The chaos in the West African nation of Niger over the last 10 days was a repeat of earlier turmoil in nearby Burkina Faso and Mali — all three of which are former colonies of France, all struggling to put down violent insurgencies and all taken over by military juntas in recent years.

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