• One of the leaders of the recent coup in Niger reportedly reached out to the Russian defense contractor Wagner Group PMC after neighboring nations threatened military intervention.

Niamey (Agencies): General Salifou Moody, a coup leader in Niger, is said to have sought assistance from the Wagner Group PMC as the junta faces a deadline to either reinstate the country’s ousted president or potentially face military intervention from neighboring countries. The request was allegedly made during General Moody’s visit to neighboring Mali, where he met with a Wagner representative. The talks were confirmed by French journalist Wassim Nasr and a French diplomat, as well as three other individuals familiar with the matter in Mali.

The request for Wagner’s assistance is seen as an attempt by the junta to ensure their hold on power. So far, there has been no official comment from Wagner or Russian government officials on the matter. The Kremlin, however, stated that any external interference in Niger would likely not improve the situation and emphasized the need for a swift return to constitutional normality.

Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin has called the coup a “justified rebellion of the people against Western exploitation.”

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has threatened to send troops into Niger if the coup leaders fail to reinstate President Mohamed Bazoum by the set deadline. President Bazoum, who has been under house arrest since the coup, has requested international support to restore his government. Several ECOWAS member states, including Nigeria, have prepared a plan for intervention in Niger.

Wagner Group has become a significant player in African security, although its standing on the continent is uncertain after a failed mutiny in Moscow in June. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has stated that the future of Wagner’s contracts with African countries will be decided by the respective client governments. Wagner’s troops have reportedly operated in countries such as Mali, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Mozambique, and the Central African Republic.

Mali and Burkina Faso have aligned with the Niger junta after the coup, leading to accusations from President Bazoum that they are employing “criminal Russian mercenaries.”

African Freedom Institute President Franklin Nyamsi has warned that ECOWAS’ threat of military intervention could escalate into a world African war if warring factions seek help from major military powers. The situation remains tense as the deadline approaches, raising concerns about potential further instability in the region.

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