Image is of General Abdourahamane Tiani, leader of Niger (left) and Ibrahim Traoré, leader of Burkina Faso (right).
The Alliance of Sahel States (ASS) formed on September 16th in the wake of the coup in Niger in late July, in which Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso created a military and increasingly economic alliance in which attacking one would result in the other two joining. This was initially most relevant militarily, as ECOWAS was threatening an invasion of Niger if they did not restore civilian rule. Nonetheless, due to a mixture of a lack of real strength in ECOWAS due to Nigeria's internal problems, and the influence of Algeria, a very strong regional military power who negotiated against a war which could further destabilise an already destabilised region, and the vague promises of future civilian rule, the external military threat seems to have mostly dissipated.
However, internal threats remain. Burkina Faso is fighting against ISIS and al-Qaeda, which commit regular massacres of civilians; the government controls only 60% of the country. In Mali, the government is fighting against similar groups as well as the Tuareg, which inhabit the more sparsely populated north of the country - the government is in the process of kicking out the UN mission to Mali, and in the process retaking rebel stronghold cities like Kidal, which is raising some eyebrows as to what exactly the UN was doing all this time; and Niger is fighting against similar Islamic groups too, and is kicking out the French for being exploitative motherfuckers. Combine this with the sanctions against Niger which are crippling the country, disease outbreaks in Burkina Faso, and just the general shitty state of the world economy, and the situation is not looking very good currently.
That all being said, economy and trade ministers from all three countries have met this past weekend in Bamako, the capital of Mali. There, they recommended that the countries: improve the free movement of people inside the ASS (don't laugh!); construct and strengthen infrastructure like dams and roads; construct a food safety system; establish a stabilization fund and investment bank; and even create a common airline. This is all attracting foreign attention too - Russia has signed a deal to build Africa's largest gold refinery in Mali, and China is the second largest investor into Niger after France, ploughing money into the gold and uranium industries there. And, of course, the Wagner group is in the region - though I'm unsure if they're having a major or minor impact on events there.
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The Country of the Week is Burkina Faso! Feel free to chime in with books, essays, longform articles, even stories and anecdotes or rants. More detail here.
Sources on the fighting in Palestine against Israel. In general, CW for footage of battles, explosions, dead people, and so on:
English-language Palestinian Marxist-Leninist twitter account. Alt here.
English-language twitter account that collates news (and has automated posting when the person running it goes to sleep).
Arab-language twitter account with videos and images of fighting.
English-language (with some Arab retweets) Twitter account based in Lebanon. - Telegram is @IbnRiad.
English-language Palestinian Twitter account which reports on news from the Resistance Axis. - Telegram is @EyesOnSouth.
English-language Twitter account in the same group as the previous two. - Telegram here.
Various sources that are covering the Ukraine conflict are also covering the one in Palestine, like Rybar.
Moon of Alabama, which tends to have interesting analysis. Avoid the comment section.
Alexander Mercouris, who does daily videos on the conflict. While he is a reactionary and surrounds himself with likeminded people, his daily update videos are relatively brainworm-free and good if you don't want to follow Russian telegram channels to get news. He also co-hosts The Duran, which is more explicitly conservative, racist, sexist, transphobic, anti-communist, etc when guests are invited on, but is just about tolerable when it's just the two of them if you want a little more analysis.
On the ground: Patrick Lancaster, an independent and very good journalist reporting in the warzone on the separatists' side.
Unedited videos of Russian/Ukrainian press conferences and speeches. Again, CW for anti-LGBT and racist, sexist, etc speech, as well as combat footage.
Pro-Russian Telegram Channels:
https://t.me/aleksandr_skif ~ DPR's former Defense Minister and Colonel in the DPR's forces. Russian language.
https://t.me/Slavyangrad ~ A few different pro-Russian people gather frequent content for this channel (~100 posts per day), some socialist, but all socially reactionary. If you can only tolerate using one Russian telegram channel, I would recommend this one.
https://t.me/s/levigodman ~ Does daily update posts.
https://t.me/patricklancasternewstoday ~ Patrick Lancaster's telegram channel.
https://t.me/gonzowarr ~ A big Russian commentator.
https://t.me/rybar ~ One of, if not the, biggest Russian telegram channels focussing on the war out there. Actually quite balanced, maybe even pessimistic about Russia. Produces interesting and useful maps.
https://t.me/epoddubny ~ Russian language.
https://t.me/boris_rozhin ~ Russian language.
https://t.me/mod_russia_en ~ Russian Ministry of Defense. Does daily, if rather bland updates on the number of Ukrainians killed, etc. The figures appear to be approximately accurate; if you want, reduce all numbers by 25% as a 'propaganda tax', if you don't believe them. Does not cover everything, for obvious reasons, and virtually never details Russian losses.
https://t.me/UkraineHumanRightsAbuses ~ Pro-Russian, documents abuses that Ukraine commits.
Pro-Ukraine Telegram Channels:
Almost every Western media outlet.
https://discord.gg/projectowl ~ Pro-Ukrainian OSINT Discord.
https://t.me/ice_inii ~ Alleged Ukrainian account with a rather cynical take on the entire thing.