| 3 December 2023, Sunday |

Niger coup: Russia warns Ecowas not to take military action

Russia has warned that military action in Niger will result in a “protracted confrontation” after regional organization Ecowas announced the formation of a standby force.

According to Russia’s foreign ministry, such military operation would destabilize the Sahel area as a whole.

Russia does not officially support the coup.

However, the United States, which supports efforts to reinstall ousted leader Mohamed Bazoum, claims that its Wagner mercenary squad is taking advantage of the unrest.

Wagner’s mercenary company is capitalizing on the unrest.On Friday, supporters of the coup, some carrying Russian flags, demonstrated outside a French military installation near NIamey, screaming “down with France, down with Ecowas.”

Both France and the United States maintain military facilities in Niger, which have been used to start operations against Islamist organizations throughout the area.

According to reports, military officials from Ecowas nations will meet on Saturday to develop preparations for a military intervention.

The EU has stated that it is still open to finding a diplomatic solution to the problem, but Nigerian President Bola Tinubu stated on Thursday that “no option is off the table, including the use of force as a last resort.”

The US has not explicitly backed military action but has called on the junta to step aside and allow the restoration of the country’s democratic constitution.

The Niger junta has not responded to the latest statements from Ecowas leaders.