In the aftermath of a coup, the former colony is rejecting French influence, while powers including Russia and China circle
Retreats from crumbling empires are inevitably characterised by hastily arranged evacuations. Panicked civilians make their way to rickety airport terminals, in the hope of an emergency flight out of the chaos. This was the postcolonial scene in Niamey, the capital of Niger, this week, as hundreds of French nationals joined other EU citizens in scurrying away from the west African nation.
Sections of the military had staged a coup against Mohamed Bazoum, Niger’s democratically elected president, just before 3 August, the country’s National Day, when it marked 63 years since gaining nominal independence from France in 1960.
Nabila Ramdani is a French journalist of Algerian descent and author of Fixing France, to be published in autumn 2023