By Melanie Nathan, August 16, 2023.
Sadly Americans are barely interested in African news. My perception indeed. I know I am generalizing. We are embroiled in the Trump drama and to the extent that we are trying to save our own democracy that is a good thing. However there is a lot going on in Africa that impacts our world. The myopia we suffer, as ensured by our press, our cable TV, and our embarrassingly insufficient educational system renders us out of touch with that which will ultimately bite our world. We are being left behind..... and we do not care ...... or do we?
Here is one example of news which should actually make the news:
KANO, Nigeria — Hundreds of people filled the streets of Kano, northern Nigeria’s commercial hub this past Saturday, chanting and singing songs. Some waved the Nigerian flag and others waved the flag of Niger, the neighboring country to the north where a group of soldiers overthrew the president late last month. (YES AMERICA Nigeria and Niger are two different countries. Niger is enduring an undemocratic coup) Many who took part in the march chanted anti-Western slogans in support of Niger’s military junta which has defied calls from West Africa’s regional bloc to restore the democratically elected president, Mohamed Bazoum, or face the possibility of military intervention. The Kano protest was just one of the developments in recent days that have shown the depth of feeling in northern Nigeria where most people are from the Hausa ethnic group, just as they are across the border in Niger.
Whereas attempts to meet the junta leader by officials from the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) and the United States were rebuffed last week, visitors from northern Nigeria have been granted access, achieving the deepest engagement with the putschists so far. Furthermore the suffering is rampantas the crisis unfolds impacting the entire region around Niger: Example: Labaran Jafaru, a traditional leader in Sabon Birni, a border town in the northwest Nigerian state of Sokoto, said people have “already begun suffering” since the closure of the border between the two countries as part of Ecowas sanctions against Niger. Traders will tell you that their sales have decreased extensively. Hundreds of trucks are trapped in the borders with perishable crops such as onions decaying as entry into either of the two countries has been banned.
Many thanks to SEMAFOR for amazing reporting and keeping us in the loop.