Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Great Powers and the Coup in Niger

 Foreign Policy published on 2 August 2023 a commentary titled "Who Benefits from Niger's Coup?" by Samuel Ramani.  

The United States and France condemned the coup in Niger and reaffirmed President Mohamed Bazoum's legitimacy.  China issued a more neutral statement of concern and emphasized the safety of its nationals.  Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov vaguely supported the restoration of constitutional order while Wagner Group chief Yevgeniy Prigozhin described the coup as a victory against Western colonialism and offered the services of his organization to the Nigerien military.

Despite some public demonstrations favoring Russia and Putin, Niger has few links with Moscow and Russia remains an unknown quantity for Nigerien officials. Nevertheless, the Wagner Group may be a siren song for the new military leaders.  China is the second largest investor in Niger after France and deeply involved in the oil and uranium sectors. China will be reluctant to abandon these projects.