The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has warned that the Russian government will be held responsible if Wagner Group a private military organization violates the rights of Niger citizens as the bloc looks to return Niger to democratic rule.
Issuing this warning while appearing on Channels TV Sunrise Daily on Friday, ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Ambassador Abdel-Fatau Musah,
“The Wagner Group, apparently, is in Mali today. The Malian government says this is an agreement between them and the Russian Federation. We want to take them by their word, which means any sort of action that infringes on human rights or yeah, or devastation in our region by these private military contractors, we are going to hold the other countries of our region responsible for that,” Musah said.
According to Musah, private military firms have long been a part of the African war landscape.
“Private military companies were involved in Sierra Leone. They were involved in Liberia during those civil wars, long ago. And even recently in the global conflict, there has been the use of private military companies. The Americans are using them in Iraq; in Afghanistan, they use them, and others. What we are seeing is that these groups are not acceptable in Africa, even though they are there and we are going to hold their countries of origin responsible for any violations,” he added.
His comment comes just as the Bola Tinubu-led ECOWAS ordered standby troops to restore constitutional order in Niger.
News About Nigeria reports that the Russian mercenary group Wagner was reportedly contacted by the new military junta in Niger to strengthen its military might in the wake of a possible war with the ECOWAS bloc.