Wagner Mercenaries: A Potential Lifeline for the Niger Junta

Scott Romaniuk, János Besenyő

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


There has been a dramatic increase in the sighting of Russian flags throughout Niger, especially in the country’s capital, Niamey. This phenomenon is observed among large-scale demonstrations, where fervent expressions of support for Russia, such as chants of “long live Russia” and “down with France, long live Putin” have been enthusiastically spoken.

The prevailing instability and upheaval can be predominantly attributed to the recent coup orchestrated by General Abdourahmane Tchiani, who assumed the position of head of state on July 28th. Ten days after the arrest of democratically elected president Mohamed Bazoum, the country witnessed a coup that shocked and surprised many people in Niger and beyond West Africa.

Over the past five decades, Niger has seen at least five successful coups, but there have also been numerous unsuccessful coup attempts. In the wake of an attempted coup in 2021, which took place just 48 hours before the planned inauguration of president-elect Bazoum, the nation’s longstanding period of democratic rule was nearly brought to an abrupt end, causing concerns about the potential for additional instability.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationGeopolitical Monitor
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2023


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