Wagner mercenary boss Yevgeny Prigozhin, who remains active despite leading a failed mutiny against the Russian army’s top brass last month, has hailed Niger’s military coup as good news and offered his fighters’ services to bring order.
A voice message on Telegram app channels associated with Wagner, which they said was Prigozhin, did not claim involvement in the coup but described it as a moment of long-overdue liberation from Western colonisers and made what looked like a pitch for his fighters to help keep order.
“What happened in Niger is nothing other than the struggle of the people of Niger with their colonisers. With colonisers who are trying to foist their rules of life on them and their conditions and keep them in the state that Africa was in hundreds of years ago,” said the message, posted on Thursday evening.
The country, one of the poorest in the world but which also holds some of its biggest uranium deposits, declared full independence from former colonial ruler France in 1960.