west fears russian influence niger coup threatens regional chaos

West fears Russian influence, Niger coup threatens regional chaos

Ten days after soldiers took Niger’s president hostage and declared himself the new government of the West African country, the No. 2 US diplomat visited the capital, Niamey.

The Sahel region, a poor, arid sub-Saharan region, has seen six coups in the past three years, but none have produced a figure like Victoria Nuland, a close adviser to President Joe Biden and acting deputy secretary of state.

The military coup in Niger has already become fodder for sensational headlines and political statements linked to grand geopolitical tropes. A senior adviser to Ukraine’s president insisted, without evidence, that Russia instigated the coup. Newsweek declared that Niger’s coup means «The Countdown to the Next Great War Has Begun in Africa». Russia will likely expand its influence because of the Niger coup .

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The impetus behind the coup is very likely complex, nuanced, and less about the Kremlin than about domestic dynamics. Now that the coup has happened, General Tchiani isn’t going to be fired. Instead, he has proclaimed himself the head of the new military junta, which calls itself the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland. Many coups have such simple origin stories, triggered by factional rivalries within the military, and ambitious, self-serving men who would happily swap the barracks for the palace.

The bloc of 15 West African countries, with Nigeria as its most powerful member, has taken a hard-line stance against the coup, even threatening military intervention.

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The coup could reopen that route, reinvigorating the formerly thriving transit hub of Agadez. If Niger’s junta manages to stay in power, it will almost certainly align itself with Russia. The broader population of Niger will suffer as soldiers turned politicians enrich themselves.apprenticeship, and my only competitor is myself.