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Last Saturday, military-backed forces of Niger’s presidential guard detained and overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum, marking the African nation’s fifth military coup since it gained independence from France in 1960. The head of the presidential guard General Abdourahmane quickly declared himself the new leader of Niger’s government:

While such affairs are of course interesting in their own right, recent developments in Niger are reverberating far beyond the ever shifting sands of coup-torn African politics and threaten to involve France, Russia, and even the United States in an increasingly volatile African powder keg.

The deposed President Bazoum was an important Western ally in terms of facilitating Niger’s cooperation with the West to combat terrorist groups in Africa. Having a cooperative ally in Niger (some would say “puppet”) was especially important to Western powers in the aftermath of a similar military coup in neighboring Burkina Faso. Burkina Faso’s Russia-aligned, anti-French interim leader Ibrahim Traoré deposed Paul Henri Damiba to become  the youngest serving president in the world at 34.

America’s role in funding African rebel groups who ultimately perform coups, some of which go against the interest of the United States, is notorious. This was the very subject of a memorable and indeed humiliating exchange between America First Congressman Matt Gaetz and U.S. General Langley. Watch:

READ MORE: Cognitively Impaired Four-Star General Gives Bizarre Answer When Asked About Coups in Africa…

A powerful undercurrent of the military coup in Niger is anti-French sentiment emerging from a sense that Niger has been exploited by its former colonial master France. Supporters of the coup have protested at the French embassy and otherwise attacked French interests in Niger.

One particularly prominent complaint has to do with French use of Niger’s rich resources, especially gold and uranium, while Niger remains one of the poorest nations in the world. France’s President Emmanuel Macron, who is fresh off the heels of riots and an uprising in Paris largely perpetrated by immigrants from France’s former colonies, has warned Niger against any attack on France’s interests.

Just today there was a massive pro-coup rally in Niger. Notice the Russian flags:

Niger is one of the world’s main Uranium exporters, and the third largest exporter of Uranium to France, which requires the mineral for its nuclear energy program which supplies over 70 percent of the nation’s energy. Given the critical significance of Uranium to France and the rest of the world, it is a clear leverage point for Niger. Reports throughout the internet that Niger has suspended its uranium exports to France appear to be false, though this is an ever lingering possibility indicating the stakes of the conflict.

A Western-backed consortium of African nations known as Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has taken the extraordinary step of imposing sanctions on Niger and threatening invasion and military force if the junta running Niger does not restore deposed leader Bazoum.

The leaders of the military juntas in Mali and the aforementioned Burkina Faso responded that they are prepared to go to war with any power that takes military action in Niger to reinstate the deposed leader.

The African nation of Guinea recently joined Burkina Faso, Mali and other nations in pledging military support to Niger in the event that Niger is invaded by foreign forces attempting to reverse the coup.

Although Western media reports that the Niger coup was Russia-backed are unsubstantiated, there is an undercurrent of support for Russia among coup supporters, fueled by the perception that Russia is a viable alternative to Western powers that have allegedly exploited Niger for its resources.

As to the demands of Western nations and the Western backed ECOWAS for Niger to restore Bazoum to power, the Junta government of Niger remains defiant. Bazoum is thought to be in house arrest and many of his top political allies have already been arrested.

Given the volatile situation and the potential for major regional and even global conflict, it is perhaps no surprise that Westerners, especially French nationals, are frantically evacuating Niger:

The United States is set to evacuate its embassy in Niger:

But of course Biden has decided that the U.S. military will stay, despite the protestations of the new government in Niger.

We’re sure this will all turn out well. Watch this space for future developments on this disturbing conflict.