Niger’s military junta has reportedly sought assistance from the Russian mercenary group Wagner, amid threats of potential intervention by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The junta faces a deadline to release ousted President Mohamed Bazoum, with ECOWAS finalizing an intervention plan. The request was made during a visit to Mali by the coup leader, and Wagner is believed to be considering the request. Niger is considered a vital counterterrorism partner for the West in a region where coups have become frequent.
- Request to Russian Mercenaries: The military junta in Niger has asked the Russian mercenary group Wagner for assistance to potentially fend off an intervention by ECOWAS. The group is thought to be considering the request.
- ECOWAS Deadline: ECOWAS has set a deadline for the release and reinstatement of the democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum. Defense chiefs have finalized an intervention plan, and France has deemed the threat of intervention credible.
- International Implications: The situation has attracted international attention, with France commenting on the credibility of ECOWAS’s threat. Niger’s status as the West’s key counterterrorism ally in the region adds complexity and significance to the situation.
- Meeting Confirmation: The request for assistance was confirmed through three Malian sources and a French diplomat during a visit by coup leader General Salifou Mody to neighboring Mali.
- Regional Context: The situation in Niger is part of a broader pattern of political instability and coups in West Africa, underscoring the fragile political environment in the region.