Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of the Russian mercenary group Wagner, has lauded the recent military coup in Niger and expressed his group’s readiness to provide their services to stabilize the country. Through a voice message on the Telegram app, Prigozhin hailed the coup as a long-awaited liberation from Western colonizers and voiced his support for the people of Niger in their struggle against external control.
While Reuters could not definitively verify the message’s origin, its tone and phrasing were consistent with previous messages from Prigozhin. Following the coup, the leaders declared General Abdourahamane Tiani as the new head of state.
This voice message serves as an indication that Prigozhin and Wagner remain active in Africa, where they hold security contracts in some countries like the Central African Republic. This activity has prompted concerns among Western governments, including France and the United States, who have accused Wagner of committing atrocities, leading to sanctions being imposed on the group. Prigozhin, however, insists that Wagner operates lawfully.
Niger, one of the world’s poorest countries with significant uranium deposits, has experienced its seventh military takeover in West and Central Africa in less than three years. Prigozhin’s offer to assist in restoring order in Niger underscores his ongoing involvement and ambitions to expand Wagner’s presence in Africa.