Russia warns Ecowas not to take military action

Russia on Friday expressed its support for the mediation efforts of the Economic Community of West African Countries (ECOWAS) in Niger, where President Mohamed Bazoum was ousted from power on July 26.

“Russia supports the mediation efforts of ECOWAS aimed at finding ways out of the current crisis,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement, adding that Moscow is closely monitoring the unfolding situation in the West African nation.

Noting that ECOWAS was taking steps to restore constitutional order in Niger through “politico-diplomatic dialogue with the new Niger authorities,” the ministry said a military intervention could lead to “protracted confrontation” in Niger and destabilize the Sahara-Sahel region.

The statement was referring to a decision by ECOWAS on Thursday to activate a standby force to restore Bazoum and “constitutional order” in Niger.

The US, France, and the majority of African nations have also expressed support for ECOWAS’s efforts in resolving the crisis.

The military junta in Niger announced a new government on Thursday, appointing Ali Lamine Zeine as interim prime minister with a 21-member Cabinet, a major decision following a successful coup on July 26.

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