The Secret War in Africa (part 1) covered the overall strategic predominance of US military/ NATO bases – some secret – in Africa, and the expansion by private military contractors (PMC) there in aid of corporate and national interests according to the major powers.
In Part 2 we examine the geopolitical associations in Africa which vary by nation, where major powers have a vested interest in a particular resource causing that major power to assume an aggressive posture to ‘protect’ its national interest by dominating or subverting the African state, in possession of that resource.
Typically those resources include natural gas, oil, gold, diamonds, silver, uranium, coal, rare earth elements and minerals, etc. Thus the major powers have their ‘client states’ in pursuance of the extraction of those resources, where that extraction may result in corruption, confrontation, armed aggression, and even support for terrorist organizations in those states.
In this post-Colonial era the extraction of resources by the major powers in a region where the indigenous people are exhorted to have their own right to self-determination is a significant challenge to global corporations, and former colonial occupiers in Africa like Britain, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, etc.
When corporate interests either collide or collude with state interests the local insurrection may be severe as mining giant Rio Tinto discovered in Bougainville. Other examples include coal and natural gas in Mozambique; uranium and gold in Niger and Mali; oil in Sudan; diamonds in the Central African Republic, and so on.
France in Africa
Perhaps the most notable component for NATO – specifically for France – is the uranium needed to run its nuclear operations. Most of that uranium originates in Africa even though France has reduced its capacity for nuclear power. Even so, France still receives in excess of two-thirds of its electricity from nuclear power via the former Areva Corporation, now called Framatome.
The uranium mined for Framatome’s nuclear reactors is commonly found in the Sahel region of Africa where most of France’s uranium comes from, primarily northern Niger and Mali. Chad** and Mauritania also possess enormous reserves of the dangerous material.