By Kıvanç Özdal
After Burkina Faso and Mali, a government that defies imperialist countries, primarily France, has come to power in Niger.
We made an interview about these developments with Kemi Seba, one of the leaders of the Pan-Africanist movement. A politician born in France and residing in Benin, Seba advocates collaboration with Eurasia against Western imperialism. The Urgences Panafricanistes, led by Seba, maintains relations with the governments of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger as well.
The Pan-Africanist politician states that the awakening in Africa has begun and they are confident of achieving an absolute victory against the West with the help of Eurasian countries. Here are Kemi Seba’s views on the awakening in Africa.
Meetings in Türkiye for multipolarity
Mr. Seba, there are many developments happening in Africa right now, and you are one of the important leaders of Pan-Africanism. Firstly, what is the reason for your visit to Türkiye?
We have several political meetings with Turkish officials and politicians about the global geopolitical situation. Africa is currently at the center of geopolitical tension. It is crucial for African forces seeking independence to engage in dialogues with nations that criticize or condemn neocolonialism.
Of course, it’s important to remember that every nation primarily defends its own interests and that there are no true friends in politics, rather only allies and interests. In this context, we are in contact with Iranian and Russian officials and have a close relationship with Hezbollah in Lebanon politically and strategically. With Turkish officials, similarly.
This is our third visit to Türkiye within this political framework. In terms of the concept of multipolarity, we also meet with other parties that share certain geopolitical approaches regarding fighting imperialism, such as the Vatan Party.
Before coming to Türkiye, you attended the Russia-Africa Summit in Russia. What are your impressions?
Let’s speak frankly. We hope to reach a stage where we can organize Africa-Africa summits, rather than Russia-Africa summits, before China-Africa or US-Africa summits. Unfortunately, we have leaders who are very inclined towards slavery and believe that happiness is always far from where they are. They push the fighters of freedom to establish always alliances with other entities.
The Russia-Africa summit took place in a very special context, as we are in a kind of global war between Western powers and those resisting them. Russia is among the prominent countries that resist this Western hegemony. It’s important for us to see with whom we can engage in dialogue, exchange views, and form partnerships. But I emphasize again: the best partnership for Africa would be Africa-Africa partnership.
Patriotism and people’s movements
How do you evaluate the recent developments in Africa?
The recent developments in Africa are the result of a long process of social engineering and planting an idea in the minds of the masses. Many of us have been doing this work through various channels for a few years: through African mass media, African radio stations, mobilizing the masses, through conferences, meetings at universities, and so on.
Today, the uprising of the new generation stems from the desire to criticize Neo-colonialism that suffocates our people. Today, two forces are uniting to overthrow puppet presidents: patriotic soldiers and the Pan-Africanist people’s movement.
I think this contributes to the design of a new form of governance. In Mali, Burkina Faso and in Niger, we witness this new situation. We hope the same will happen in Niger; we are working for it. I regularly have talks with Nigerien officials and General Abdourrahmane Tchiani. We are determined to bring about a multipolar world. That’s why I’m here, to establish connections for Nigerien officials.
As I’ve mentioned before, my dream as a Pan-Africanist is for us to be self-sufficient within an intra-African alliance. There’s much we need to do among ourselves. We must unite our people. However, on a geopolitical level, we must also form alliances with other entities, and I believe it’s important to fight against Western hegemony.
“We will gain our sovereignty”
What is the demand of Africans in Niger?
Just like Türkiye, Russia and China want to determine their own fate, Africans also want sovereignty. You have more than us, but there’s still much we need to decolonize ourselves.
I will give you an example familiar to you when we talk about colonialism in the Muslim and Arab world: Palestine has been colonized. What do the Palestinians want? Decolonization. What do Africans want? Decolonization. We are oppressed, colonized, our resources are plundered, stolen, looted. We have leaders brought to power by the French oligarchy and colonizers. There are foreign military bases on our land. Western multinational corporations are plundering our resources. We cannot allow this continue.
We are in the 21st century. We are a generation that embraces responsibility and decided to pursue this to its logical conclusion: We will gain our sovereignty with every means we have!
You mentioned Türkiye, Russia and China. In the protests in Niger, we saw protesters carrying Turkish and Russian flags alongside Nigerien flags. Could you tell us about the perspective of Africans towards Türkiye and Russia?
Although I am on a diplomatic visit to Türkiye, I must say that I will take the risk of being undiplomatic by stating that this is a strategic mistake.
I believe those waving Russian flags, just like those waving Turkish flags, are doing so out of a desire to challenge the West. However, I think this is a strategic mistake. You cannot struggle for sovereignty by waving the flag of a foreign country.
For me and our organization, the movement of Urgences Panafricanist, this is an inappropriate action. On the other hand, people are expressing their desire to create a different kind of world with the means they have. I understand that. So, they want a multipolar world, different allies, different partners. Yet, I don’t think waving Turkish and Russian flags will earn us any respect, because it will provide arguments to the West that we are being manipulated by Türkiye and Russia.
Right now, I am in Türkiye, and I am stating this openly: There is no Russian or Turkish person who can tell us what we should think. We are here as allies, not as subordinates. This is our reality and our path forward.
Yes, you are right. Perhaps the people of Niger were carrying Turkish and Russian flags to declare their new allies in the new world.
In this regard, as I’ve mentioned before, this is a good effort. However, I believe that the method of carrying the flags of foreign countries in demonstrations for our sovereignty can have a counterproductive effect. It can be used by the adversaries of our struggle to make people believe that this is not a struggle for sovereignty, but a manipulated one.
If I have been invited here by certain organizations in Türkiye, it is because we understand what to be done in terms of partnerships in this multipolar world. However, it’s important not to forget that the center of gravity for every country should be its own people.
“ECOWAS will cease to exist”
We read in Western media the articles claiming that China and Russia are new imperialists. We see collaboration among Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger. Could this collaboration turn into an organization against Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)?
In the long term, I believe ECOWAS will cease to exist. ECOWAS was meant to be a community of nations. However, looking at its current state, we see that ECOWAS has turned into a kind of unity of corrupted African leaders manipulated by the West. On the other side, we have patriotic leaders and soldiers supported by mass movements like Urgences Panafricanist. A new form of governance based on sovereignty and multipolarity can be established. There is an inevitable conflict between these two blocks: between the pro-Western block and the sovereignty-oriented block. Since the new generation and the African people favoring independence, ECOWAS will not be able to sustain its existence if it doesn’t change its political direction. I believe ECOWAS is bound to fade away and gradually give way to the African Union of the people. Sooner or later, the African Peoples’ Union will be established. This is highly certain.
Africa will make a revolution
How do you see the future of Africa?
We believe that Africa will be more important than ever in the 21st century. The multipolar world of the 21st century and the coming centuries will shift the center of gravity of the world. Just as it is happening already in the Sahel, it will spread to other regions. We will see the rise of leaders who are supported by their people, who stand for self-determination, oppose oppression and uphold sovereignty.
The Arab Spring was a revolution controlled by George Soros’s Open Society. Today, we, the Africans, have our own fight, controlled by ourselves, not by others. Besides, we are forging geopolitical alliances.
Our leaders fight against us
Our leaders don’t want to help us. On the contrary, they want to fight against us. We seek alliances in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. There is also an opportunity for partners who support our struggle, as everyone wants the West to leave. Thus, new forms of partnerships can emerge. But we say to these new partners that if it’s a win-win situation, we can establish partnerships that are much more honorable than the corrupted partnerships where corrupt African presidents get 10% and Western multinational companies get 90%. We need to reverse the power balance. We have youth, our demographics are on our side.
I think it is important for the world to realize that the 21st century will be a century when Africa takes its destiny into its own hands. And we are the architects of this. Let it be known that there are many architects of this struggle.
Thank you, Mr. Seba. Lastly, do you have a message for Türkiye?
I can say that it is important for Turkish people to understand that Africa is not just about music or football. Africa is a continent with a vast population. Different ethnic groups exist in Africa. All these come together to form a rich, dignified and great people in terms of culture and values. The 21st century will be our century.