Baya Osborn: The US has No Moral Authority to Use Force to Change the Niger Leadership

publicerad 15 september 2023
US Drone Air Base 201, Agadez, Niger
US Drone Air Base 101, Agadez, Niger.

The United States has been accused of possibly being involved in changing the leadership of the military junta in Niger. The reality has finally set in for Western powers that Niger is moving away from the colonial manipulation, aggression, and exploitation it has faced in the past.

By Baya Osborn for NewsVoice (more). He writes about Conflicts and Security Studies, in the World of Politics. Osborn ( is based in Kenya.

However, is this move correct and does the United States have the moral authority to do it? Is this a threat to the fight against neo-colonialism in the country? Let’s analyse the reports regarding the use of force by the USA in Niger and the evacuation of the French military base.

The Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation has reported that the United States wants to eliminate the coup plotters and leaders. The accusations of plotting to eliminate the leaders of the military government physically come after thousands of protesters demanded the withdrawal of French troops from Niger.

“Representatives of American special services are directly discussing with partners who could carry out killings

It looks like the White House has decided to resort to old and, as they say, time-tested solutions, after facing what it perceives as a surprising and unpleasant geopolitical awakening of Africa”.

The United States is not fully satisfied with the recent events and diplomatic activities happening in the country. It also does not want to rely on an intervention by the neighbours, who vowed to go to war against the military junta under ECOWAS. The claims include reports of the US considering a wetwork solution through a proxy.

Some sources have also noted that France had similar approaches. However, matters of this calibre would cause more instability than gain for the country. It was specifically noted that it would bring even more radical people to power in Niger. France had combined arms tactical subgroups for deployment.

These have always been French first-level oversea deployments and have been prepared with an alert level regarding Niger. Their primary target is to be ready for short-term engagement in the event of localised attacks.

France has resorted to using its main Private Military Operation, Amarante, to manage the evacuation or security of diplomatic assets based in Niger. These events clearly suggest that a possible military intervention has been ruled out and therefore other methods to ensure that Niger is still under their control should be taken.

US Drone Air Base 201, Agadez, Niger.
“The primary American facilities for U.S drone missions in Africa are in West Africa. Two in Niger. Air Base 201 in Agadez and Air Base 101 at Diori Hamani International Airport Niamey.  From there, the U.S flies MQ-9s, over Libya, Mali and Nigeria.” Photo: US Air Force

The Pentagon has also begun pushing for the repositioning of its troops in the country. The US has at least 1,000 troops at its two air bases in Niger.

The Pentagon spokesperson, Sabrina Singh, said:

“Part of the personnel will be moved from Air Base 101 located near the Niger capital, Niamey, to the Air Base 201 in Agadez, further north. There is no threat to American troops or violence on the ground. This is simply a precautionary measure.”

The actions the United States is willing to take raise serious ethical and legal questions. Is it right because it causes diplomatic and international relations concerns? Targeted assassinations are illegal under international law, and they can have far-reaching consequences. Consequences of this scope include destabilising regions and inflaming tensions, which could lead to civil wars.

Niger could potentially be faced with destabilisation and prolonged instability. The Western African region has a highly complex history regarding political unrest.

In line with their interests, the democratic rights of Niger citizens should be protected through righteous diplomatic negotiations and not through assassination. An attempt of this sort undermines Africans’ rights to decide the future of their country. Therefore, the United States has no moral authority to attempt an assassination of the junta leaders in Niger.


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