Niger Junta Officially Seeks Help From Wagner and Closes Airspace As Deadline Passes

Objectivity 4.8 | Credibility 4.8 | Relevance 4.7

Niger’s military junta has officially sought help from the Wagner Mercenary Group over the weekend.  The request came from coup leader General Salifou Mody while on a visit to neighboring Mali.  Journalist Wassim Nasr said, “They need (Wagner) because they will become their guarantee to hold onto power.” Reports say that Wagner is considering the request. Since then, Niger has closed it’s airspace after the deadline to free ousted Niger President Mohamed Bazoum issued by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) passed. ECOWAS imposed economic sanctions on Niger after the coup and threatened force if Bazoum was not freed.  Mali and Burkina Faso, who underwent similar coups in the last few years, have said that military intervention in Niger would constitute as “a declaration of war” against them as well.  Niger’s uranium and oil reserves give it economic and strategic importance for the United States, Europe, China and Russia.