Russian President Vladimir Putin, issues clear message to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

 Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued a clear message to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) following the recent military coup in Niger.In his message, Putin expressed support for the military junta that seized power in Niger and urged ECOWAS to respect the country's sovereignty. He emphasized the need to avoid external interference and to allow the Nigerien people to determine their own political destinyThe message from Putin highlights Russia's willingness to cooperate with the military junta in Niger, contrary to the stance taken by many other international actors who have condemned the coup and called for a return to democratic rule. This move by Putin aligns with Russia's broader strategy of supporting authoritarian regimes and non-democratic governments around the world.

ECOWAS, on the other hand, has taken a firm stance against the military coup in Niger. The regional bloc has suspended Niger's membership and imposed diplomatic and economic sanctions on the country. ECOWAS has also called for the immediate release of President Mahamadou Issoufou and other detained political leaders, and demanded a return to constitutional order.

Putin's message challenges ECOWAS' position and is likely to strain relations between Russia and the regional bloc. It is important to note that ECOWAS has historically been critical of Russia's involvement in African affairs, particularly its support for dictatorial regimes.

The military junta in Niger, led by Colonel Assimi Goita, has promised to hold elections within a year and has expressed a commitment to democratic principles, but ECOWAS remains skeptical. The regional bloc has stressed the importance of a swift restoration of constitutional order and the respect for democratic norms and values in Niger.

Given the conflicting positions between Russia and ECOWAS, the Niger coup crisis could further deepen divisions and rivalries among international actors involved in African affairs. It remains to be seen how ECOWAS and other stakeholders will respond to Putin's message and whether it will have any impact on the ongoing situation in Niger.

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