Is France Funnelling Ukrainian Arms To West African Terrorists?
Mali and Burkina Faso, who’ve earlier accused France of supporting terrorism, should cooperate with those countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission whose recent summit saw Nigerian President Buhari warn about the flood of Ukrainian arms into the hands of regional terrorist groups in order to jointly investigate Paris’ suspected role in this transcontinental network.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari warned last week during a summit of the Lake Chad Basin Commission that arms from the Ukrainian Conflict have begun to flood into the West African region at a rate that’s beginning to equal that of those which come from Libya. This aligns with CBS News’ warning in early August about how only 30% of arms destined for that former Soviet Republic reach their final destination, the exact statistic of which they were later forced to walk back under pressure.
Be that as it was, the problem of Ukrainian arms making it to the black market remained so serious that the US later dispatched troops to that country for the express purpose of monitoring these shipments. This remains an issue into the present as proven by RT’s detailed report about the so-called “International Legion”, which cited accounts from foreign fighters claiming that these weapons continue being sold on the black market.
Having confirmed that the problem of Ukrainian arms being funnelled out of the country veritably exists, it’s now time to explore which parties have an interest in funnelling them to West Africa. The continent’s role in the New Cold War between the US-led West’s Golden Billion and the jointly BRICS– & SCO-led Global South of which it’s a part will likely end up being as a proxy battleground between them over the direction of the global systemic transition.
The first-mentioned de facto bloc wants to indefinitely retain their declining unipolar hegemony while the second envisages accelerating multipolar processes with the aim of making International Relations more democratic, equal, and just. The Ethiopian Conflict was previously the top proxy war in Africa over the direction of this systemic transition but its recent resolution has led to the Russian-inspired Global Revolutionary Movement’s (GRM) anti-imperialist advances in West Africa becoming front and centre.
France’s self-declared “sphere of influence” there that it condescendingly describes as “Françafrique” has begun to collapse after Mali’s military junta proved themselves to be African pioneers by taking the lead in pushing back against Paris’ neo-colonialism. The interim authorities haven’t shied away from calling France out for its continued meddling in their geostrategically positioned country after kicking its forces out following their failed decade-long putatively “anti-terrorist” mission there.
Their latest banning of all French-funded “NGOs” follows summer’s accusation that Mali’s former colonizer has nowadays resorted to directly supporting the same terrorists that they earlier claimed to fight. The past half-year has seen France freak out over Russia’s increased security assistance to this strategic Sahel country, with Paris even going as far as to concoct the racist conspiracy theory implying that the region’s people are supposedly too stupid to realize that they’re being manipulated by Moscow.
The latest manifestation of this racist innuendo provoked a sharp rebuke from the Kremlin, which reminded everyone of its official goal from earlier in the summer to help all of its African partners fully complete their decolonization processes. President Putin also reaffirmed this same goal during his Q&A session at the Valdai Club’s annual summit in late October. Prior to that, Axios exposed France’s information warfare-driven plot to counter Russia’s growing anti-imperialist influence in Africa.
The preceding paragraphs very clearly prove that there’s a Russian-French proxy war raging all across “Françafrique”. This shadow conflict is characterized by Moscow’s soft power and security assistance helping Paris’ former colonies finally free themselves from that declining hegemon’s neo-imperial yoke, but instead of that Western European Great Power going with the flow by responsibly reforming its regional policies, it’s ruthlessly striking back by supporting terrorist proxies there.
Mali isn’t the only one of France’s former colonies to make this startling claim either since neighbouring Burkina Faso just suspended state-run Radio France Internationale after it spewed terrorist propaganda. Like Mali, Burkina Faso has also been suffered from a suspicious spike in terrorist attacks after its own multipolar military coup just two months ago, thus extending credence to Bamako’s prior claims that Paris is employing such groups as proxies to punish those two for their pro-sovereignty policies.
Returning to the news that inspired this analysis, West Africa’s evolving military-strategic dynamics do indeed make one wonder whether France is the foreign force responsible for funnelling Ukrainian arms to regional terrorist groups. After all, it’s already been explicitly accused by two of its former colonies – Mali and Burkina Faso – of supporting terrorism against them so it follows that there’s some credence to these suspicions seeing as how desperately Paris wants to restore its fading influence over them.
Going forward, those two countries and the ones that comprise the Lake Chad Basin Commission whose recent summit saw Nigerian President Buhari warn about the flood of Ukrainian arms into the hands of regional terrorist groups should closely cooperate to investigate France’s suspected role in this transcontinental network. Upon their request, Russia can also provide relevant intelligence for helping them get down to the bottom of this, after which they can take action to disrupt destabilizing arms flow.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Voice of East.