'French' Goat's Throat Slit In Massive Niger Protest Demanding Withdraw Of French Forces

In the latest highly-visible threat to waning French influence in Africa, tens of thousands of protesters amassed at a French military base in Niger on Saturday to demand that France pull its military forces from the country. The rising anti-French sentiment follows a July 26 coup that replaced Western-backed President Mohamed Bazoum with a military junta, which is floating a proposal for a return to civilian rule in three years.

To underscore threats that a failure to withdraw forces will lead to French blood being spilled, protesters paraded coffins covered with French flags and slit the throat of a goat that was adorned with French colors, Reuters reports. It's said to be the largest protest yet. Previous actions included fires being set at the French embassy. 

Videos showed Nigerien security forces struggling to manage the crowd...

Anti-French animus surged when France defied the junta's order to withdrawal its ambassador from the country. Niger police are now under orders to expel that ambassador, Sylvain Itte, along with his family -- all of whom have had their visas cancelled. The ambassador was ordered out of the country after refusing to meet with the junta's new foreign minister. Paris has said it will not recognize the "the putschists" but instead supports "a president who has not resigned."

Saturday's huge demonstration took place at a French air base in Niger's capital city of Niamey. (via Yahoo News)

Niger's coup was the eighth to take place in Central and West Africa in just the past three years. French forces have already been evicted from Burkina Faso and Mali, and Niger looks to be the next domino as French power over its former colonies withers away in the 21st century. 

France is particularly reluctant to flee Niger, to the extent that French President Emmanuel Macron last week indicated that his country stands ready to back military action by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). "We support the diplomatic and, if it is decided, the military activity of ECOWAS," he said. "Without a fatherly attitude but also without showing signs of weakness either. We must continue to energetically support countries of this region, calling on them to act responsibly."

A goat in its final minutes of life before protesters slit its throat in a metaphorical threat to French soldiers who don't leave the country (Mahamadou Hamidou/Reuters

ECOWAS, a group of 15 countries, has already imposed sanctions, but Nigerien protesters defiantly struck anti-colonial tones on Saturday. "We are ready to sacrifice ourselves today, because we are proud," Yacouba Issoufou told Reuters. "They plundered our resources and we became aware. So they're going to get out." France has roughly 1,500 military service members in the country. 

Niger is the world's seventh-largest uranium producer, and boasts the highest-grade ores in all of Africa. Its only major mine currently in production mode is operated by Orano, a French government-owned entity. France operates 56 nuclear reactors, and Niger accounted for 22% of France's supply in 2022. 

(Article by Tyler Durden republished from Zerohedge.com)

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