Mali’s military leader Assimi Goita said on Tuesday that he had spoken on the phone to Russian President Vladimir Putin about the situation in Niger, where a junta seized power in a coup last month.
Putin “stressed the importance of a peaceful resolution of the situation for a more stable Sahel,” Goita said on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.
Western powers fear that Niger could go the same way as neighbouring Mali, whose leaders hired mercenaries from Russia’s Wagner group to help them fight an insurgency after they overthrew the democratic government three years ago and kicked out French troops.
Putin has called for a return to constitutional order in Niger, while Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin welcomed the coup.
Support for Russia has appeared to surge in Niger since the July 26 coup, with junta supporters waving Russian flags at several rallies. (Reuters/NAN)