Assimi Goita, Mali’s military commander, announced on Tuesday that he recently spoke by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the present situation in Niger.
The world community is concerned when Niger was overthrown by a junta.
Goita added in a message uploaded on the social media platform X (previously Twitter) that Putin highlighted the importance of a peaceful conclusion to maintain Sahel region stability.
J'ai eu un entretien téléphonique avec le Président Poutine. Nous avons évoqué la situation du Niger. Il a souligné l'importance d'un règlement pacifique de la situation pour un sahel plus stable. pic.twitter.com/po6U2meRw1
— Colonel Assimi GOITA (@GoitaAssimi) August 15, 2023
Western governments are concerned that Niger will follow in the footsteps of Mali, where a prior coup resulted in the involvement of Russian Wagner group mercenaries in counter-insurgency operations.
Putin has urged Niger to restore constitutional order. The Wagner group’s leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, on the other hand, declared support for the coup. Surprisingly, there has been a significant increase in pro-Russian sentiment in Niger since the coup, as evidenced by junta loyalists waving Russian flags at demonstrations.