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Niger – France: The Complete Divorce

Niger – France: The Complete Divorce
People of Niger protesting in front of French Army Camp - Photo Courtesy: Al Jazeera

Today marks three months since member poets of the World Poetry Movement Niger, read poems in front of the French army base in Niamey, as part of the Free Africa activities

By Ashraf Aboul-Yazid | Cairo
poet Saley Boubé Bali
Poet Saley Boubé Bali

This morning the poet Saley Boubé Bali, Niger, sent me a message saying that today marks three months since poets; who are members of the World Poetry Movement (WPM), Niger, read poems in front of the French army base in Niamey, as part of the Free Africa activities initiated by the movement’s branch in Africa. The strong support of the World Poetry Movement (WPM) in the twenty-first century, as no activity in favor of the freedom of peoples, was able to mobilize such a huge number of poets, writers and intellectuals in the world, and the signature of 488 poets on a petition to oppose any intervention in Niger; this included condemning the embargo imposed on Niger and the threat of military intervention by France and some West African countries. On five continents, poetry readings and conferences were organized to denounce the spirit of neo-colonialism.

Also read: Huge protests in Niger demand French forces to leave

Niger- Protest-French Army- Al Jazeera
Photo Courtesy: Al Jazeera

Sally adds that on September 22, when there were world poets reciting thousands of epic verses against neo-colonialism, France, via its president Emmanuel Macron briefly announced the departure of French forces from Niger while they continued their destabilizing maneuvers through acts worthy of the title of state terrorism. The Government of France, in parallel, cancelled grants, visas and missions of Niger artists, students and researchers.

Niger- Protest- Al Jazeera

Niger- Protest- Al Jazeera-1
Photo Courtesy: Al Jazeera-1

In response, my poet friend said: Our people in Niger chose to refuse surrender and continued peaceful resistance by denouncing all agreements binding them to France, one after the other. During the three months it took to withdraw the French soldiers, international public opinion discovered the lie of some heads of state in favor of military intervention. And with the passing over time, the arguments for combating terrorism and defending democracy have become mere pretexts for protecting a cabal from the plunderers of the resources of Niger and the Sahel countries in general.

Niger- Protest- Al Jazeera-2
Photo Courtesy: Al Jazeera

On Friday, December 22, 2023, the last French soldiers left Niger; The French embassy, cultural centers and the French high school were closed. The Nigerien poet describes that it represents “a complete divorce between Niger and France.”

Read more: The French army begins its withdrawal from Niger

Sally Bobby Paley adds, “This is a victory. It is the victory of all freedom-loving men, especially the poets from all over the world who performed once again their role: resistance against colonialism and war in all its forms. The World Poetry Movement platform is the most appropriate place to extend warm thanks to all poets from all over the world who did not spare their time, talent or means to support Niger in this resistance test; This is the support that the Palestinian people are now in need more than ever.


Ashraf-Aboul-Yazid-Nano Poems- Africa-Ashraf Aboul-Yazid is a renowned Egyptian poet, journalist, novelist, travelogue writer and translator. He is author of around three dozen books and Editor-in-Chief of Silk Road Literature Series.



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