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The Junta in Niger cancels military cooperation with Benin. Niamey accuses Cotonou of having made troops and assets available for a possible ECOWAS offensive. Tension is also growing with France. Meanwhile, Wagner is recruiting forces
The Junta in Niger ended the military cooperation agreement with Benin. It was in response to the fact that the Cotonou government would “authorize the deployment of soldiers, mercenaries and materials” in support of the threatened ECOWAS offensive to restore constitutional order in the African country and to reinstate the elected president, Mohamed Bazoum, still a prisoner together with his family at his official residence. In the meantime, negotiations between the nation and the body to defuse the crisis continue, although no progress has been made so far. On the contrary. Niamey has raised the bar by arresting a French citizen: Stephane Jullien, advisor for French citizens abroad, arrested on 8 September and still held by the Nigerian authorities. The latter, moreover, in recent days have accused Paris of amassing forces, armaments and equipment in various ECOWAS states in preparation for the offensive. Following the two episodes, there is growing tension between France and Niger, which the Paris partners are barely able to contain. Meanwhile, the Wagner group is recruiting forces to send to the country on its Telegram channels and plans to transfer others from Mali. The crisis with the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) in the North, however, is messing up the contractors’ plans.