In Africa, Decolonisation
Decolonizing in the Sahel Region

Photo Credit: Adam Jones, Ph.D., CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

By DR SAHIDI BILAN and ROB LEMKIN. Originally published by Friends of Socialist China, June 4, 2024.

Events in the Sahel region of Africa seldom get the international attention they deserve. However, developments in recent years have started to draw greater attention from anti-imperialists. In Mali in 2021, Burkina Faso in 2022, and Niger in 2023, progressive figures from the military have taken power, dealing a blow to the former colonial power France, which has long continued to maintain its effective domination of the region, and arousing renewed hope among the masses of people for independent development and social progress.

On 16 September 2023, these three countries formed the Alliance of Sahel States (AES) as a mutual defence pact when military aggression was threatened against the new government of Niger. The AES joins a growing number of regional and international bodies formed by the countries of the Global South to strengthen their independence against imperialism on the basis of collective self-reliance.

As part of this process, all three countries are strengthening their ties, in the economic, military and other fields, with China, Russia and other anti-imperialist states.

These developments do not occur in a vacuum. Rather, they have deep roots. Many people in the anti-imperialist movement know something of Thomas Sankara, the inspirational Marxist leader of Burkina Faso. Some know of Modibo Keïta, the first, socialist President of Mali. But probably very few know of the Sawaba Party, its leader Djibo Bakary, and the courageous armed struggle they waged in the 1960s for Niger’s true liberation.

In this special article, written exclusively for Friends of Socialist China, Dr. Sahidi Bilan, Senior Adviser of London-based Collectif de la Nigérienne Diaspora (Collective of the Nigérien Diaspora – CND), and Rob Lemkin, award-winning filmmaker, whose BBC2/BFI African Apocalypse documents the 1899 French invasion of Niger, bring the hidden history of the Sawaba Party to life, focusing especially on the strong internationalist support and assistance rendered by the People’s Republic of China to the Nigerien revolution – a relationship of solidarity that dates from 1954.

Bringing the story up to date, the authors conclude:

“It may be that the emancipatory force of history that Sawaba fought so hard to release is now beginning to be realised by the people of Niger. Let us hope that long-yearned-for freedom and justice can at last prevail without negative external interference…

“Today Niger and China have strong economic and political relations. Sawaba’s little-known history and connection with the PRC is an important foundation in the origins of today’s friendship.”

The struggle of the Sawaba Party was suppressed with extreme cruelty. But, facing execution at the hands of Spanish colonialists in 1781, Bolivian national hero, Tupac Katari declared: “I will return and I will be millions.”

Today, as their countries embark on the difficult road of building a new society, Thomas Sankara, Modibo Keïta and Djibo Bakary have returned. And they are millions.

When Niger’s military government last year expelled the troops and diplomats of the former colonising power France, some Nigeriens saw it as the resumption of a process rudely interrupted in September 1958. Sixty-six years ago, on the eve of independence, Niger’s first African government council was led by the Sawaba party (Sawaba means ‘liberation’ and ‘well-being’ in Niger’s main language Hausa) and its Prime Minister was a charismatic decolonial trade unionist called Djibo Bakary.

Sawaba’s overthrow in 1958 by France was Africa’s first modern coup d’etat. In no time the party was proscribed and driven underground; it went on to create a resistance movement with the support of African anti-imperialist states like Ghana and Algeria and developed a significant guerrilla training programme with help from the socialist bloc notably the People’s Republic of China.

‘Silence! On decolonise!’ is the title of Djibo Bakary’s great book, at once autobiography and manifesto for the radical decolonisation programme of which he was a principal. We use its title to explore a better understanding of the 26 July 2023 military coup and its unilateral severing of military accords with France and later the United States of America. It is vital to interrogate why no military coup in Niger’s post-independence history (and there have been eight of which five were successful) has had such popular support as that of the CNSP (Conseil national pour la sauvegarde de la patrie, National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland).

This article gives first a brief introduction to Sawaba’s history and vision for Niger; we then focus on China’s connections, in particular its role in and influence on Sawaba’s remarkably ambitious, but disastrously unsuccessful attempt to invade Niger in 1964; we then outline the intense repression that followed and conclude bringing the story up to the present.

The questions for today include: how aware are Niger’s current rulers of Bakary and Sawaba’s radical decolonial project? Are the recent expulsions of Western military forces part of genuine politics of anti-imperialism or are they merely a populist move by the military government? American and French military presences (Italian and German too) had been justified by the need to combat insurgency. But terror attacks have increased over the last decade. The government is now turning to Russia for military assistance.

“I believe it is our duty is to inform the representatives of France of the will and thought of the overwhelming majority of the people we claim to work for; to serve the interests of the greatest number and not to use it as a springboard to satisfy desires for luxury and power. For this, we need to grapple with our problems by ourselves and for ourselves and have the will to solve them first on our own, later with the help of others, but always taking account of our African realities (…)

For our part, we have said it again and again: we have been, we are and will remain always for and with the Nigérien “talaka” (peasant)”
Djibo Bakary, Editorial in The Democrat 4 February 1956

Nowadays the history of Sawaba is little known or spoken of in Niger. In fact, it was not until 1991 after the end of the Cold War that the full list could be published of Sawabist political prisoners who had died in detention through the 1960s and 70s. According to Mounkaila Sanda, Djibo Bakary’s nephew and a later leader of Sawaba, there has long been a concerted effort to expunge the memory of Sawaba’s struggle from national consciousness along with the systematic repression of its members.

How different it had been in the 1950s! Sawaba then under its original name Union Démocratique Nigérienne (UDN) was Niger’s principal anti-colonial vehicle of change. Its founder, Djibo Bakary, had experienced his first political awakening as a schoolboy on the streets of the capital Niamey. In his 1992 autobiography Silence! On decolonise (Quiet! We are decolonising), Bakary remembers walking home from primary school and coming across his father then nearly 60 years old breaking rocks in a conscripted road repair gang – part of the colonial system of forced labour (la corvée) which remained in force in French colonies until after World War Two. The young Bakary was infuriated by a system that violated community notions of respect for elders and traditional authority (his father, though poor, was a local village chief).

Sawaba organised among the so-called ‘little people’ (les petits peuples), urban private sector workers, groundnut farmers and minor government functionaries, many of them unionised. They were also known in Hausa as talakawa (the common people).

The party came to power in 1957 in Niger’s first elections under the French Empire-wide Framework Act (Loi-Cadre Defferre) which created partially self-ruling government councils through universal suffrage. Bakary – whose nickname was Thorez, after French communist leader Maurice Thorez – campaigned against cronyism and corruption and told his movement members ‘the masses follow us not for our beautiful eyes or eloquent speeches but because we will help them fight injustice and repression and render impossible future abuses’.

Bakary promised to strive for a ‘healthy and frank collaboration with the colonial authorities’. Sawaba’s programme was decolonial in the widest and deepest sense. It aimed to improve across a wide spectrum: food security, export terms of trade for Nigérien farmers, development of infrastructure, education and healthcare, and an expansion of labour migration. However, real power – in areas of foreign policy, school curricula, media, security – remained in the hands of the French-appointed colonial governor. This was to prove critical in the following fateful year of 1958.

That year Charles de Gaulle came out of retirement to establish the French Fifth Republic, his attempt to restore France’s Great Power status and prevail against the anti-colonial insurgency in Algeria, Niger’s neighbour. A constitutional referendum set for 28 September 1958 was to be held across France’s African colonies establishing a new Communeauté Franco-Africaine (French-African Community) in which each territory would be granted internal autonomy. Any colony that voted ‘No’ would immediately become independent and entirely cut off from French relations including financial support.

Bakary and Sawaba – along with Guinea’s Sekou Touré – were alone among West African ruling parties in campaigning for ‘No’. They believed the CFA amounted to even less than the limited autonomy than Niger had before. Sawaba put the resources of the state towards its ‘No’ campaign. It even organised street violence against its opponents. Bakary, in a powerful speech in late August, a month before the referendum, denounced French ‘blackmail’:

From Téra to Nguigmi, the refrain of independence must have its echoes in each village, in each hut…Tell everyone that independence is the end of backward colonialism with its economy of the slave trade, its plunder, its social injustice; it is the end of calculating values on the basis of people’s colour, it is the end of prejudice, it is the resurrection of our race.

French intelligence reports, now held at the National Colonial Archives at Aix-en-Provence, document France’s horror and anxiety that ‘if nothing is done, the traditional chiefs and hierarchy will follow Sawaba and the people will follow the charismatic Djibo Bakary’.

Enter Don Jean Colombani, a Corsican colonial administrator known as ‘the Bulldozer’. With weeks to go before the referendum Colombani arrived to orchestrate an extravagantly funded campaign for ‘Yes’, based on intimidation, and mobilized French paramilitary forces from Algeria and the widespread dropping of leaflets. According to Dr Mamadou Djibo, a historian who until recently was Niger’s Minister for Higher Education, these leaflets threatened death or bombardment to communities that voted ‘No’ and warned that ‘Djibo Bakary will sell you out to the communists’.

Nine days before the plebiscite, the Bulldozer dismissed Bakary and stripped Sawaba of its ruling powers. It was Africa’s first modern coup d’etat. The date: 19 September 1958.

When the vote came, only Sekou Touré’s Guinea voted ‘No’ (and true to its word, France unleashed scorched earth reprisals as promised). Most other territories voted around 90% or more for ‘Yes’. In Niger it was different. Firstly, the turnout was very low (37%), secondly the vote for ‘Yes’ was only 75%. Dr Mamadou Djibo, in his definitive history, observes a general pattern of bullying and intimidation and concludes the vote was rigged.

Why did France do this? The answer is that Niger (unlike Guinea) was – and, crucially, remains – strategically important. Two reasons. First, its long borders with Algeria and the economic powerhouse Nigeria. Djibo Bakary in the party’s 1961 manifesto Reasons for Our Struggle (Les Raisons de notre lutte) quoted a French senator named Borg: “You must be mad if you think we French will just leave Niger. In losing Guinea, we lost wealth. But if we lose Niger, we lose Algeria, we open the door to Nasser [then socialist-leaning leader of Egypt], we allow the creation of a vast Muslim state from Lagos to the Algerian border”. The second reason was Niger’s large uranium deposits which had been discovered just a year before in 1957 in the Saharan north of the country. (France’s transition to ‘nuclear energy independence’ in 1974 would be unthinkable without its holdings in Niger which, thanks to neo-colonial pressure, it has for much of the last fifty years extracted at below-market prices. It is notable that the continuity of uranium supply was a major cause for concern by France and other European states after the 2023 coup).

Sawaba’s rival, the Parti Progressiste Nigérien (PPN), campaigned for ‘Yes’ and remained highly accommodating to French interests for the next two decades. It took power following a new election in December 1958 and immediately banned Sawaba.

Bakary left for Guinea and was not to return to Niger for the next 15 years. Many Sawaba leaders were arrested. Many more fled and so began the build-up of a resistance movement with its cadres training all over the world in Ghana, Algeria, China, Vietnam, the Soviet Union and Bulgaria.

Sawaba’s connection with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Communist Party of China (CPC) had begun in 1954 when Abdoulaye Mamani, an organiser from Zinder who later became a celebrated novelist and poet, visited Beijing for a congress of the Federation Mondiale de la Jeunesse Démocratique (World Federation of Democratic Youth).

PRC funding was substantial – French intelligence estimated £1.5 million was donated in 1964 – and represented, in the words of Sawaba’s historian Klaas van Walraven, ‘China’s first violent attempt to gain a foothold in West Africa’. Walraven estimates that over 40 Sawaba cadres went to China for training.

The experience of Hassane Djibo, an agricultural clerk from Kollo near Niamey, may have been typical. Djibo’s route to Beijing was via Cairo, Karachi and Rangoon. On arrival he spent a month familiarising himself with guided tours of schools, factories and even the Peking Opera. Then it was off to Nanjing by train for six months of guerrilla training with combat drill. The camp, which was 15 kilometres outside the city and included an exercise ground, living quarters and a building referred to as the ‘School of the Chinese Revolution’. The recruits were taught in French.

Hassane Djibo’s notebook including notes from 42 political-military tutorials at Nanjing later fell into the hand of French and Nigerien intelligence. Mao’sprinciples of People’s War are paramount. There is much on the co-ordination between secret and open operations, and between rural and urban struggle. Practical aspects also included weapon-making, first aid, protection against gas. Other courses that may have been especially tailored included guerrilla warfare in desert conditions and preparations for coup d’etat. Evenings, as one might expect, were set aside for self-criticism sessions.

Hassane Djibo kept painstaking notes:

The large peasant masses are thrusting to free themselves from domination by imperialism and feudalism.

From 1961 other Sawaba cadres in China took up positions as announcers and journalists at Radio Peking’s Hausa service. They also taught Hausa to Chinese and international cadres and acted as vital intermediaries between the PRC government and Djibo Bakary himself. They lived in a compound called ‘The African Fighter’. One of these announcers, a lorry driver from Zinder named Amadou Diop, would return to Niger in 1965, as we shall see, to undertake the most daring mission of all.

Much of the information about PRC activities comes from torture interrogations of captured Sawabists following the 1964 attempted invasion. Tragically, by the time Klaas van Walraven was able to conduct his landmark interviews with survivors in the 2000s, many of his confidants had memories blunted by years of brutalisation. And, as is not uncommon in colonial counterinsurgency, many official intelligence records have vanished. In the case of Sawaba, it is not only French records that are missing, reports by the British High Commission in Ghana have also disappeared from the national archives.

In 1963 Sawaba prepared a series of infiltrations from the west, south and east of the country. In the plan, PRC-trained cadre would direct units of 10-15 guerrillas in to operate across the entire southern borders of Niger from west to east. The guerrillas would capture border posts, then move to occupy urban and rural centres with support of the peasantry, then on a signal the population would rise in support of the guerrilla. The operation was run by Bakary’s deputy Ousmane Dan Galadima who underwent at least two rounds of training in China. Finance came from the PRC to a Barclays account in Kano, northern Nigeria, where Ousmane was based, coming first to Geneva, then Brussels, then Barclays in Accra, before arriving in Kano.

By 1964 Sawaba was becoming strong again in Niger. French intelligence had assessed that if Djibo Bakary had returned (he was by now in Bamako, Mali, where the pro-socialist Modibo Keïta was now in power) the pro-French PPN regime would collapse instantly. The government initiated a ruthless crackdown. In May, 35 Sawabists were arrested at a political rally in Djiratawa, a village near the south-central city of Maradi. A day later, 21 of them had died in an overcrowded prison cell from asphyxiation.

The French were concerned the deaths would increase support for Sawaba. The crackdown intensified. In July Niger’s international radio links were severed – almost certainly by Sawabists.

Then in September the Sawaba Political Bureau issued a historic communiqué launching armed action with seven paragraphs of justification. It had resolved:

To assume its responsibilities before history by calling on the Nigerien people to take up arms (and) … join the ranks of the Nigerien freedom fighters united in the Democratic Front of the Homeland.

And it concluded:

Forward for the liberation of the Nigerien homeland!

The guerillas numbered only hundreds but clearly hoped to pick up thousands along the way. As Ousmane Dan Galadima told van Walraven in 2003, ‘our aim was to free the people from the French yoke’.

Sawaba aimed to establish a People’s Republic of Niger and create a Government of African Union along with Nkrumah’s Ghana and Touré’s Guinea. It was a plan, not for coup d’etat, but for a capture of power by and for the people – as might be expected from an organisation that originated as a social movement, in fact, Niger’s first.

British and French intelligence concluded Sawaba was well-trained and operated under strict discipline. American intelligence concurred, citing Sawaba as ‘a major force in Niger’s politics’. But by the time of the invasion, the PPN regime with their French advisers had had time to mobilise the population against the guerrilla. Reprisals were ferocious, many civilians were caught between both sides.

Hassane Djibo, the PRC-trained guerrilla told van Walraven that the hostile reception of the peasantry was a ‘bitter blow’. Many guerrillas were forced to hide in the countryside for weeks where they were chased and starved before capture. Of 240 Sawaba commandos, 136 were taken prisoner, a dozen or so killed, the rest fled back across the borders in retreat.

The PPN authorities’ response was swift and harsh. They knew of the invasion well in advance thanks not least to Sawaba’s inadvisably public communiqués. With French intelligence and military support, they had mobilised the peasantry for counterinsurgency. French police officers had remained in charge of state security and oversaw a programme of ruthless interrogation of captured Sawabists. The Nigerien authorities were also reported to receive assistance in interrogation techniques from Israeli military advisers flown in for the purpose from Tel Aviv.

On 12 October 1964, four commandos were sentenced to death for a border raid. They included Salle Dan Kollou who had trained in Nanjing. All were executed by firing squad the next day in Niamey before a crowd of over ten thousand press-ganged to attend by police loudspeaker. Earlier, the body of another rebel fighter was dragged to the capital’s police headquarters and put on display. Dandouna Aboubakar had been lynched by a peasant vigilante group in Birnin Konni. His mouth was stuffed full of sand, his head and face propped up on a rock, his body later moved to the parliament and left there to rot for three days. The government assured the people there would be more to come:

Blood’s revenge will irresistibly appear. The lynching of the miserable adventurer Dandouna Aboubakar will be but the prologue to a lesson that will be terrible.

Executions continued until December 1964 and had a devastating effect on Sawaba’s morale. The deterrent impact of fear among the whole population was overwhelming.

Despite this Sawaba went ahead with plans for a second invasion in 1965. Chinese instructors arrived in Nkrumah’s Ghana to continue the training of cadres who had returned from Nanjing. There were still 300 Sawabist active commandos in Ghana. The French embassy in Accra reported concerns about a second invasion.

Another event was to intervene. Amadou Diop was a lorry driver from Zinder who combined socialist convictions with a deep faith in Sufi Islam. Diop left Niger in 1959 to avoid arrest and travelled first to North Vietnam and then to the PRC, where he worked as an announcer on Radio Peking’s Hausa Service. He trained as a guerilla in Algeria and Ghana. In 1964 he had entered Niger as deputy to Dandouna Aboubakar, the Sawabist leader lynched by local people in Birnin Konni (see above). Diop was imprisoned but escaped to Ghana. There he met Djibo Bakary and discussed next steps.

In April 1965 Diop returned to Niger with a plan to assassinate President Hamani Diori. After an abortive effort at the airport, Diop led his unit of five cadres to the Great Mosque in Niamey where Diori and two of his closest cabinet ministers were praying inside an official enclosure in front of a crowd of 20,000 worshippers.

As Diori kneeled, Diop threw a grenade at the President. It landed three rows behind him, killing the four-year-old son of a government official and injuring several others. Bystanders stopped Diop throwing a second grenade and wrestled him to the ground. Diop was stripped naked and taken to the detention centre in the Presidential complex where he was interrogated and tortured over many days with electric shocks – possibly with French officers using their ‘Battle of Algiers’ equipment designed to maximise torture without killing.

Eventually Diop submitted and gave details of names and plans. An enormous clampdown ensued. The French embassy in Niamey was soon reporting that ‘the prisons overflow with Sawabists’ (les prisons regorgent de Sawabistes). Thousands had been arrested. A second invasion attempt pencilled for June 1965 was abandoned. Sawaba had taken a beating from which it could never recover.

Sawaba’s armed strategy was, in the view of its historian van Walraven, carefully prepared, well thought out, effectively co-ordinated. Yes, it has gone down in history as foolish and doomed, but Bakary and Sawaba were right to think they had a chance against the pro-French PPN government of Niger. But its weakness lay in its origins as a social movement which focussed on political agitation and campaigning not military engagement. A millenarian strand to Sawaba’s collective mindset contributed to over-optimistic expectations. One veteran, a trainee in North Vietnam, Soumana Idrissa, told van Walraven, ‘we fought with courage, not weapons’. Bakary’s chief lieutenants, Abdoulaye Mamani and Ousmane Dan Galadima had already severely criticised the leader for overestimating Sawaba’s popularity and underestimating Diori’s strength. The well-trailed communiqués announcing the invasion made defeat almost pre-ordained. The overthrow of its principal sponsor Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana in early 1966 spelled the end of Sawaba as an insurgent force. But not quite as a political one.

In 1974 Hamani Diori was toppled in a military coup led by Seyni Kountché. Hundreds of Sawaba prisoners were released. Posthumous pardons were issued for those executed. For a time Kountché expelled French troops and repudiated the defence treaty (like the current military government of Niger) and even moved to recognise for the first time the People’s Republic of China. For van Walraven, Kountché’s recognition represented ‘the historical culmination of older struggles, even if his régime rejected any revolutionary transformation of society’.

Before long, released Sawabists resumed political activity. And not long after that, the arrests resumed. Many were held without charge in a remote prison camp in the Saharan northeast of the country. Abdoulaye Mamani, who had made the first contacts with China in 1954, was held in solitary confinement in an underground cell. He devoted his time to writing a historical novel on African resistance to the barbaric 1899 French invasion of Niger. He wrote the book on strips of toilet paper making use of cracks of light that filtered through the air vent.

Mamani’s novel celebrated Queen Sarraounia who fought the notorious Voulet-Chanoine expedition at the Battle of Lougou on 13 May 1899. In his version Sarraounia drove the French genocidaire Paul Voulet mad and defeated his force by harnessing the powers of the ancestral spirits of the forest. This alternative history fiction – in reality the French invasion killed tens of thousands of Africans in a conquest that was total (although Voulet did himself get killed) – made Sarraounia into a hero of Pan African resistance, a legendary symbol of national pride who is still today celebrated every year on Nigérien independence day. In 1986 Mamani worked with Mauritanian film director Med Hondo to create the influential award-winning movie Sarraounia – one of the great political films in world cinema. [And just at time of writing– on 24 May 2024 – the President of the CNSP General Abdourahamane Tiani announced the creation of a new ‘Sarauniya Mangou’ medal for acts of patriotism, commitment or sacrifice in the cause of national sovereignty].

It is notable that when Klaas van Walraven conducted interviews with Sawabists in the early 2000s, many told him that Nigeriens were still living in 1900 – a reference to Niger’s continuing subordination to French colonial power.

Last September on the eve of the 65th anniversary of the 1958 referendum – and constitutional coup d’etat – the Secretary of the London-based Collectif de la Nigérienne Diaspora (Collective of the Nigérien Diaspora – CND), Kader Mossi Maiga gave testimony to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Afrikan Reparations at the British Houses of Parliament. At the heart of his presentation Maiga paid lively tribute to the memory of Djibo Bakary whom he called the Father of the Resistance against Françafrique (French neo-colonial domination), the leader of the Sawaba party which agitated for meaningful independence.

It may be that the emancipatory force of history that Sawaba fought so hard to release is now beginning to be realised by the people of Niger. Let us hope that long-yearned-for freedom and justice can at last prevail without negative external interference.

One Sawaba cadre, Hamidou Abdoulaye, remained in China as a Radio Peking Hausa Service announcer until 1982 when he returned home. In an interview with Klaas van Walraven in 2009, Abdoulaye spoke of his admiration for the Chinese, praising the ethical integrity of their political leaders who kept in check ‘counter-revolutionaries’ and ‘demagogues’ in stark contrast to the Niger of that time where, he said, ‘there is much waste and nothing can be accomplished without the whip’.

Today Niger and China have strong economic and political relations. Sawaba’s little known history and connection with the PRC is an important foundation in the origins of today’s friendship.


DR SAHIDI BILAN is a philosopher, university lecturer and Senior Adviser of the London-based Collectif de la Nigérienne Diaspora (Collective of the Nigérien Diaspora – CND).

ROB LEMKIN is a documentary filmmaker whose films include ‘African Apocalypse’, a BBC2/BFI feature documentary on the 1899 French invasion of Niger. He is currently at work on a sequel.

The authors thank Mounkaila Sanda, Ibro Abdou and Klaas van Walraven and others unnamed who read early drafts of this article but are in no way connected to any errors there may be.
Editor’s note

This article in draft has been read by several members of Niger’s current government – some very highly placed. Comments received included this: ‘What is happening in our 3 countries (Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali) is the result of a will suppressed for decades by a power which has no interest in understanding psychology and views all human interactions only from its own point of view. The choice of peoples may be hindered for a time, but the balance will in the end be restored! This article on Sawaba will remind readers that the struggle of the three pioneers will not rest until final victory over the coloniser is achieved.’
Further reading

Bakary, Djibo (1992), Silence! On décolonise. Itinéraire politique et syndical d’un militant africain. L’Harmattan.

Bilan, Sidi (2023). Comment l’Afrique a asservi la France.

Bilan, Sidi (2023). La France doit sortir du déni.

Bilan, Sidi (2023). Réfléchissons

Bilan, Sidi (2023). “Seuls les imbéciles ne changent pas!”

Djibo, Mamoudou (2001), Les transformations politiques au Niger à la veille de l’indépendance. L’Harmattan.

Djibo, Mamoudou (2003), Les enjeux politiques dans la colonie Niger (1944-1960). Autrepart (27).

Hamani, Djibo. (2012) Quatorze siecles d’histoire du Soudan Central : Niger du VIIè au XXè siecle. Niger: Editions Alpha.

Lemkin, Rob (2021), Meet Mr Kurtz. Times Literary Supplement.

Lemkin, Rob (2023), In May Jirgui. London Review of Books.

Lemkin, Rob (2024), Conrad in Niger: African Apocalypse in Conrad’s Cultural Legacy (Bloomsbury 2024, in press)

Lemkin, Rob (2025), Testimony is Resistance in Resonance of Conrad (Berghahn 2024, forthcoming)

Lemkin, Rob and Femi Nylander (2021), Colonial Accountability in Niger. Le Monde Diplomatique.

Lemkin, Rob and Femi Nylander (2021), Massacres de la mission Voulet-Chanoine. Quelle justice aujourd’hui ? Afrique XXI.

Mossi, Kader, Sahidi Bilan and Rob Lemkin (2023). We Nigeriens want to be respected. Morning Star.

Mossi, Kader, Sahidi Bilan and Rob Lemkin (2023). Nous, Nigériennes et Nigériens, voulons être respecté·es Politis.

Mossi, Kader, Sahidi Bilan and Rob Lemkin (2023). Nous Nigériens voulons être respectés Le Sahel, Niamey.

Nylander, Femi and Rob Lemkin (2021). Will Macron’s Commission face up to all of France’s colonial atrocities? The Guardian

Parti Sawaba. (1961), Pour l’Indépendance effective du Niger: Les raisons de notre lutte. Bureau du Parti Sawaba: Bamako, 15 Jan. 1961.

Schneidermann, D., 2023. Cinq têtes coupées. Massacres coloniaux : enquête sur la fabrication de ­l’oubli. Seuil, Paris

Walraven, K. van (2013) The yearning for relief a history of the Sawaba movement in Niger. Leiden ; Brill.

Walraven, Klaas Van (2017), Le désir de calme. L’histoire du mouvement Sawaba au Niger. Open Edition Books.


EDITOR’S NOTE: We remind our readers that publication of articles on our site does not mean that we agree with what is written. Our policy is to publish anything which we consider of interest, so as to assist our readers in forming their opinions. Sometimes we even publish articles with which we totally disagree, since we believe it is important for our readers to be informed on as wide a spectrum of views as possible.

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