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Wagner Mercenaries' Presence in Niger Raises Concerns in the West

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The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has expressed worries about the presence of the Wagner mercenaries in the Sahel Region, amid the political instability caused by the coup in Niger.

But he said the coup itself was not instigated by Russia or Wagner, according to the BBC.

The coup took place over two weeks ago, leading to the ousting of President Mohamed Bazoum.

There have been suggestions that the coup leaders may have sought assistance from Wagner.

However, the mercenary group's leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, denied any instigation of the coup but offered assistance to the junta to restore order.

Prigozhin had also hailed the military takeover as good news and offered his fighters’ services to bring order.

The Wagner group has a reputation for its involvement in conflict zones.

Since the coup, the Nigerien military has shown signs of remaining in power for a long time with the appointment of a former finance minister, Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine, as the country's new prime minister.

In addition, the junta ignored the seven-day ultimatum issued by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to reinstate the ousted president.


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