The military governments of Burkina Faso and Mali have issued a warning stating that any military intervention against the leaders of last week’s coup in Niger would be viewed as a declaration of war against their nations. They expressed solidarity with the people of Niger and stated that any such intervention could have disastrous consequences and destabilize the entire region.
Burkina Faso and Mali also declared their refusal to apply the “illegal, illegitimate and inhumane sanctions” imposed on the people and authorities of Niger. The coup in Niger has drawn condemnation from the African Union, the United States, the United Nations, the European Union, and other powers.
Regional bloc ECOWAS has imposed sanctions on Niger, including a freeze on financial transactions and a freeze on national assets. It has also threatened to authorize the use of force to reinstate the deposed President Mohamed Bazoum. Guinea’s President Mamady Doumbouya, whose government also came to power through a coup, has expressed disagreement with the sanctions and called for ECOWAS to reconsider its position.
As Niger’s military attempts to consolidate its coup, arresting top officials of the toppled government, the US, France, and Germany have expressed hope for a potential reinstatement of Bazoum. The coup leaders have alleged that Bazoum had authorized a French attack on the presidential palace, a claim denied by Paris.
Anti-French sentiments have arisen, with protests outside the French embassy in Niamey chanting slogans against France. There are concerns that the instability in Niger could create an opportunity for private mercenary companies like the Wagner Group from Russia. The leader of Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, expressed support for the coup, claiming that former colonizers were trying to control African countries. However, the Kremlin in Russia has expressed serious concern about the situation in Niger.