ECOWAS – THE NEW ASKARIS? It’s 2023, but ECOWAS seems determined to continue a depressing tradition of colonised peoples fighting on behalf of their masters. In West and Central Africa, French colonisers used to deploy African soldiers known as ‘tirailleurs’ to crush rebellions and movements across their empire.


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Meanwhile, the British, Germans, Italians, Spanish and Portuguese referred to their African (especially East African) foot soldiers as ‘askaris.’ And in Belgian Congo, Africans were forced to brutalise other Africans while serving in a local army known as the Force Publique. Are ECOWAS soldiers now playing, or poised to play, the role of latter-day tirailleurs and askaris – by fighting on behalf of neocolonial interests in Niger? Share your take with us below. #ECOWAS #Niger #Askari

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