Republished from the Socialist Workers League (Nigeria)
776 Nigerian troops are expected to arrive in Mali today to support the attacks by French forces in the north of Mali. They are expected to be joined by 124 more, and another 2,000 troops from other West African countries. This action confirms Nigeria’s imperialist role across West Africa and gives backing to the French attacks which have already killed hundreds with bombing raids on the three main towns of Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu.
Aid agencies expect the number of refugees from the fighting to increase to 70,000 and the level of malnutrition, which doubled last year, will also increase. As the people of Iraq and Afghanistan have found out, Western imperialism never comes to bring democracy but to defend its own crude interests.
The north of Mali has suffered great poverty and little investment by the central government for decades. Early last year Tuareg separatists took over most of the region and declared an independent state of Azawad.
The action by the Nigerian government just supports the right of French and other imperialist powers to intervene at will across the world. French troops are being supported by both the US and UK.
The French government claims that the attacks are needed to prevent the spread of Islamic terrorism as part of the US war on terror. However, the real terror in the world today is poverty which kills an estimated 3,000 people every day. This is the equivalent of an al-Qaeda attack on the scale of the 2001 World Trade Centre every single day.
We demand the Nigerian Government immediately withdraws its troops from Mali.