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Niger coup leaders visit Mali raises concerns of a Wagner Alliance, reports NY Times

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Military officials who orchestrated the coup in Niger last week have reportedly visited Mali, where the Kremlin-backed Wagner mercenary group has deployed approximately 1,500 troops. The visit raises fears of a potential alliance between the coup leaders and the military regime in Mali, which partners with the Wagner private military company.

The Wagner group’s presence in Mali has been a point of concern, and its founder, Yevgeny V. Prigozhin, has praised the coup in Niger and offered Wagner’s services to the new rulers. However, it remains uncertain what level of operational control he holds over the group after his failed mutiny attempt in Russia in June.

Niger had been a reliable ally of France and the United States in combating Islamist insurgents over the past decade. However, the military takeover has raised doubts about the alliance, and the visit to Mali suggests that the coup leaders may seek support from an African nation backed by Russia.

Although there is no public confirmation whether General Modi met with Wagner operatives during the visit, Mali’s defense minister, who has been sanctioned by the United States for facilitating Wagner’s involvement in Mali, attended the meeting.

Read the full article on the website of the New York Times, click here.

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