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Monday, September 25, 2023

Algerian President: Niger Coup Poses Direct Threat

Algerian President Stands Firm Against Niger Coup, Urges Peaceful Resolution In a statement on Saturday, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune made it clear that any military intervention in Niger would be considered a direct threat to Algeria and was “absolutely rejected.”

The ongoing political crisis in Niger, triggered by a military coup that ousted its elected president last month, has raised concerns over regional stability.

During an interview with Ennahar TV, President Tebboune reiterated Algeria’s support for “constitutional order” in Niger and expressed the country’s willingness to assist in restoring this order.

The military coup, which took place on 26th July, saw President Mohamed Bazoum detained by members of Niger’s presidential guard. Subsequently, a group of soldiers announced on national television that they had overthrown the government.

General Abdourahamane Tchiani, the head of Niger’s presidential guard, declared himself the head of a transitional government just two days later. Responding to the coup, the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) set a deadline for the coup leaders to “restore constitutional order” or face potential military intervention.

The deadline, which is set to expire on Sunday night, has prompted Ecowas defense chiefs to finalize an intervention plan.

Given Algeria’s shared 950km border with Niger, the country has been particularly vocal about urging calm in the region. The Algerian government opposed the coup and, like Russia and China, advocated for dialogue to de-escalate tensions.

Mali and Burkina Faso, both neighboring countries to Niger’s west, warned that a military intervention would be seen as a “declaration of war” against their nations, vowing to defend the coup leaders.

Adding to the complexity, a coup leader reportedly sought help from Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, as reported by the Associated Press.

The Wagner Group, a private military company based in Russia, has been increasingly involved in Africa, serving as a vehicle for Moscow’s strategic reach into the continent.

Established by Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Wagner Group is known for covert military operations and its involvement in trade, including mining and weapons procurements, in countries such as Mali, the Central African Republic, Sudan, Libya, and Syria.

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