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Niger Crisis: ECOWAS Cautions Russia Against Involvement of Wagner Group

Niger Crisis: ECOWAS Cautions Russia Against Involvement of Wagner Group


The Economic Community of West African States on Friday said it will hold Russia responsible if a private military contractor of the Eastern European nation, Wagner Group, gets involved in the crisis in Niger.

The ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Ambassador Abdel-Fatau Musah, said on a television interview in Abuja.
Musah noted that another West African nation had a separate arrangement with the private military security outfit from Russia.

The official of the West African bloc further warned the Wagner Group against violating human rights in the wake of the coup in the Niger.
“The Wagner Group, apparently, is in Mali today. The Malian government says this is an agreement between them and the Russian Federation,” Musah said.
“We want to take them by their word, which means any sort of action that infringes on human rights or yeah, or devastation in our region by these private military contractors, we are going to hold the other countries of our region responsible for that.”

Musah was asked if he was referring to Russia, to which the ECOWAS official replied, “That’s Russia (we will hold them) responsible diplomatically. The West African region is just not Russia.”
According to Musah, private military companies have been a feature of the African conflict scene for so many years.
He said: “Private military companies were involved in Sierra Leone. They were involved in Liberia during those civil wars, long ago. And even recently, in the global conflict, there has been the use of private military companies.

“The Americans are using them in Iraq, in Afghanistan, they use them, and others. What we are seeing is that these groups are not acceptable in Africa, even though they are there, and we are going to hold their countries of origin responsible for any violations.”

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