The US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinkaccused the Russian mercenaries Wagner is said to be “exploiting” the situation of instability and chaos he is experiencing. Niger since the ongoing coup. Since the democratically elected president was removed from office Mohamed BazoumThe African country is controlled by a junta led by the previous leader of the Presidential Guard Abdourahmane Tchiani (who has appointed himself Chairman of the National Council for Safeguarding the Fatherland).
“I think that what happened and continues to happen in Niger was not instigated by Russia. or by Wagner, but… they tried to exploit it“said the head of US diplomacy on Tuesday in front of the British company’s cameras.
According to Blinken’s verdict: “Every place we are Wagner’s arrival brought death, destruction and exploitation“. “It’s a repeat of what happened in other countries and left nothing but bad in its wake,” the Biden administration’s secretary of state noted.
There have been suspicions since the coup began It was circulating in the atmosphere that the uprising was instigated from Moscowand in the last few hours, rumors have been spreading that the rebel junta did it demanded help for Russian mercenaries, although there is still no evidence of the presence of the organization’s soldiers in the country. The Wagner Group is also represented in other African countries Mali and Central African Republic by thousands of fighters who came to the aid of local authorities and defended Russia’s political and economic interests in the region.
Blinken’s testimony to the BBC came just hours after the US Deputy Secretary of State and Envoy testified Victoria Nuland admitted to staying in Niamey a “difficult and frank” exchange of views – which lasted up to two hours – with the rebels preventing him from meeting with President Bazoum.
The American diplomat also recognized this little willingness of the putschists to cooperate with his government and confirmed that the ousted President is “under house arrest”. “They insisted on how they want to proceed and it was not about supporting the Niger constitution,” Nuland said on Monday. Also the day before yesterday, the putschists appointed the former Nigerian finance minister Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine now like a new prime minister Habibou Assoumane replaced as the new Chief of the Presidential Guard Abdourahmane “Omar” Tchiani.
Extraordinary ECOWAS Summit
Given the seriousness of the situation, member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are expected to do so Thursday 10th, an extraordinary summit in Abuja to deal with the Nigerian crisis after the coup junta turned a blind eye to the Union’s ultimatum, which expired last Sunday, calling for a descent from its rebellious stance and facilitating the return of the interim government. “ECOWAS leaders will assess and discuss the political situation and recent developments in Niger,” the organization said in a statement Monday.
The regional organization had already warned on July 30 his willingness to use force against the coup junta in Niger if President Mohammed Bazoum – who is still being held by the rebels – is not restored to his post within a week. Nigeriathe Ivory Coast, Benin and Senegal demonstrated already openly ready to intervene in Niger to overthrow the coup.
The putschists defiantly responded to the ECOWAS threat, first with “an immediate response and without prior notice” and then, this Sunday, by closing the country’s airspace. For his part Delegations from Mali and Burkina Fasoboth member states of the regional economic bloc, arrived in Niamey on Monday to convey to the coup junta their support for a possible armed intervention from abroad.
Meanwhile, the new coup junta boasts of popular support for the coup and the zero echo of the demands Mohamed Bazoum secure the process of democratic transition. Last Sunday, the putschists held a large rally in the streets of Niamey. “We did not come here to return,” a spokesman for the rebel movement assured more than 30,000 people.
So far, the Nigerian authorities have been staunch allies of the West, with France – the former colonial power – at the forefront of the fight against jihadist terrorism and irregular migration across the Sahel and West Africa. With the hasty withdrawal of French forces in an atmosphere of anti-French phobia and undisguised sympathy for Putin’s Russia, the African country has recently become a pillar of Europe’s strategy in the Sahel from Mali and Burkina Faso.