Abdoulaye Diop on the crisis in Niger: “We don’t want a second Libya!”

In five lucid minutes, Abdoulaye Diop, Mali’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, summed up what is currently at stake around Niger, explaining Mali’s opposition to any military response to the situation there, which is at odds with ECOWAS’s interventionist policy.

Speaking on Saturday at a conference entitled “L’action diplomatique malienne, quelle stratégie pour une politique étrangère plus forte et avantageuse?” (Mali’s diplomatic action: what strategy for a stronger, more advantageous foreign policy?), this former graduate of ENA in Algiers took the offensive on burning diplomatic issues, with an assertive, pan-Africanist language in which sovereignty was the watchword.

Turning to the current situation in Niger, Abdoulaye Diop felt that since this was an internal problem, the solution could only come from the Nigeriens themselves, and that any intervention from outside could only lead to further problems.

“It’s a country, it’s a sovereign state, let them sort out their problems, you can’t provide the solution, it’s an internal dispute,” he said, warning against any hint of interference. For him, interference is at the root of the current problems in Niger, just like previous experiences that have brought anarchy to the Sahel region.

The diplomat drew a parallel with NATO’s intervention in Libya, which led to a fratricidal war that has lasted for ten years, even though the promoters of the intervention quickly withdrew. “We saw NATO’s invasion and aggression in Libya. But those who attacked Libya are not the ones with the problems, it’s us, and they’re gone,” he declared.

He went on to explain that if there is external intervention in Niger, Mali will suffer the same consequences as it did following the intervention in Libya, condemning the “inhumane” embargo imposed on Niger since the military putsch. An embargo that deprives the population of food and medicines.

“The dirty work

How can the embargo benefit human rights? How can we call ourselves democratic when we condemn the violation of the constitution in Niger and applaud it elsewhere? Abdoulaye Diop doesn’t mince his words when it comes to deciphering the true intentions of ECOWAS and those of the Western capitals that roundly condemned the military putsch against Mohamed Bazoum’s presidency.

If we condemn unconstitutional civil change, we must denounce the unconstitutional extension of mandates we have around us,” he says, pointing out the double standards. And he asserts to his compatriots that the forces opposed to the putsch and in favor of intervention in Niger are hardly motivated by safeguarding democracy: “It’s not democracy that’s in question, they want people who are favorable to them.”

ECOWAS has been activated,” says Diop, without naming the sponsors, not even France, with which his country is at odds, considered to be the source of evil in these former colonies. In his speech, Diop clearly accused ECOWAS of failing to show solidarity with the people of the Sahel afflicted by jihadist terrorism.

Hence the incongruity, he believes, of his mobilization today. “These countries that come today to give lessons to Niger and Mali, have they given us a single Kalashnikov rifle to fight with? […] for ten years our people have died, the terrorists have attacked us, but we’ve never seen a summit to say yes, we’re going to send 1,000 men to Mali to fight the terrorists”, he calls out to ECOWAS.

And he ends his demonstration by revealing what, for him, lies at the root of ECOWAS’s activism. “Now that you’ve got one of your own in the hands of the military, you’re waking up to send a force. What message does that send to the people of Africa? Is it their lives that are important, or is it something else? Or is it other games, or is it others who need the Cédéao to do the dirty work for them?” For Mali, it’s absolutely clear,” concludes Abdoulaye Diop.

Find out more at https://elwatan-dz.com/le-mae-malien-abdoulaye-diop-sur-la-crise-au-niger-nous-ne-voulons-pas-dune-deuxieme-libye


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