A pending “Wexit” — a withdrawal of Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso from the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) — is the most significant geopolitical realignment in the region in three decades, as Western influence plummets and the Russia-backed Wagner Group prowls around.

Ironically, part of the secessionist drive in the three Sahel states can be located in France’s more progressive attitude recently towards former colonies it once treated as its own chasse gardée through control of their currencies, foreign reserves and central banks...

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