In the wake of the threat of military intervention by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the coup plotters in Niger Republic have turned to Russia for help sought.
Recall that ECOWAS had at the weekend, issued a seven-day ultimatum to the military junta to reinstate President Mohamed Bazoum as democratically elected president or face a range of stiff sanctions.
The body also tasked all Chiefs of Defence Staff of the member-states to proceed for an emergency meeting to strategize on effective ways to implement a possible military operation to restore constitutional order to office.
General Abdourahmane Tchiani, also known as Omar Tchiani, and the chief of Niger’s presidential guard, has declared himself leader while the country’s elected president has been held by the military since the coup took place last week.
Even on Saturday, the African Union (AU) gave the soldiers 15 days to return to their barracks and restore civil rule in the country.
However, the Niger Republic’s military leaders in a statement read on Niger national television warned ECOWAS not to send troops to their country, saying it is an attempt to start a war against Niger.
“The objective of the ECOWAS meeting is to approve a plan of aggression against Niger through an imminent military intervention in Niamey in collaboration with other African countries that are non-members of ECOWAS, and certain Western countries,” Aljazeera quoted the military spokesman, Colonel Amadou Abduramane, to have said.
Abduramane called on Russia to help Niger with soldiers and equipment.
He said they were ready to defend their country from the attacks that he suspected ECOWAS would launch on the country.
He also called on the citizens to come out and hold a demonstration to support them.
Russia has troops in Mali, a neighbour of Niger, which has caused France and the United Nations to withdraw their peacekeeping troops from the country.
Russia’s Wagner mercenary boss, Yevgeny Prigozhin, who remains active despite leading a failed mutiny against the Russian army’s top brass last month, has hailed the coup as good news and offered his fighters’ services to bring order.
Niger has been a security partner of France, and the United States, which have used it as a base to fight an Islamist insurgency in West and Central Africa’s wider Sahel region.