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American-Trained Warlords Could Be Hours Away From Starting A Massive African Conflict

  • West Africa is rocked by multinational warfare as Niger’s military junta leaders defy an ultimatum calling for the ousted president to be reinstated.
  • The Pentagon has helped train at least one of Niger’s coup leaders, as well as leaders from Mali and Burkina Faso who have pledged to defend Niger.
  • “The Niger army and all our defense and security forces, backed by the unrelenting support of the people, are ready to defend the territorial integrity of our country,” a representative of the military government said in a statement, reported by Reuters..

West Africa is on the brink of armed conflict, and the regional security bloc must decide whether to intervene against Niger’s military junta leaders, at least one of whom has previously been a member of the Department of Defense (DOD). ) under the program.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Nigeria-led economic and security body, has set Sunday. ultimatum To the military officers who seized power in Niger in July and restored the ousted president under the threat of force, according to to Reuters. But the deadline passed without a change in Niger’s leadership, and the ruling forces of Niger’s security forces announced on Sunday that they would preposition forces ahead of a possible ECOWAS invasion.

If launched, it would set off a conflict involving more than one country on the continent for the first time in decades. according to to Politico. (Related: Russian mercenary group halts march to Moscow, returns to Ukraine after deal: report)

ECOWAS is responsible for: discussion thursday case.

“The Niger army and all our defense and security forces, backed by the unrelenting support of the people, are ready to defend the territorial integrity of our country,” a representative of the military government said in a statement, reported by Reuters.

West African leaders say they have sidelined too many coups in recent years and need to restore trust, but rifts are already forming in African countries, according to Reuters. Member states Mali and Burkina Faso are both governed by US-trained military officials who seized power from their predecessors in the past two years, and are pledged to defend Niger if necessary.

Niger closed its airspace on Sunday to warn of attacks from foreign forces and promised protection from invading forces, Reuters reported. Earlier, the country had sent a delegation to Mali, asking for reservists of Russian Wagner mercenaries to join the fighting in the event of a Western-backed intervention.

ECOWAS leaders formulated a war plan over the weekend, adding that operational decisions would be left to individual heads of state, Reuters reported. Nigerian President Bola Tinub has asked the Senate for permission to take military action against Niger.

France has about 1,500 troops stationed Niger’s government announced on Saturday that it would support ECOWAS’ work, but did not specify what that support would be, Politico reported. Niger, a former French colony, cut off military cooperation with France after the failed coup.

However, according to media reports, Nigeria and the US are looking to diplomatic options to resolve the crisis. The US government last week suspended humanitarian and security assistance programs amid heightened uncertainty, signaling support for ECOWAS activities.

Niger had not requested the withdrawal of US troops as of Monday, the Pentagon said. according to to Politico.

U.S. forces remain at the base and did not participate in the partial evacuation of the embassy ordered by State Department spokesman Brigadier General John Brigg.General Pat Ryder Said At the August 3rd meeting.

“At this time, there is no change to the posture or policy of US forces in Niger. Our forces in Niger continue to work with the Nigerian military on a daily basis to maintain the capabilities of our base operations and services,” Ryder said. , later added that these were not members of the Nigerian army that took part in the coup attempt.

The deployment complicates a longstanding training and equipment partnership between the United States and Niger to counter Islamist terrorist groups in the region.

One of the Nigerian military leaders who deposed democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoom on July 26 is a brigadier general.General Moussa Salau Balmou leads the country’s Special Operations Force ‘Interceptr’Reported.Balmow tweeted that he met with U.S. Army Special Operations Command Lt. Gen. Jonathan Braga in June to discuss joint security efforts. show.

Balmow was trained at Fort Benning, Georgia, and studied at the National Defense College in Washington, D.C., The Intercept reported, citing a Nigerian source who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“We have had a very long relationship with the United States,” Balmow said. Said “It is very good for Niger to be able to work together in this capacity.”

The Department of Defense did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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