Africa could erupt in a “full-blown war,” the former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe has warned.
James Stavridis fears the deadline for coup leaders in Niger to return the country back to democratic rule could be the spark for an escalation in the conflict.
A deadline was set for Sunday (August 6) by a coalition of West African nations known as Ecowas, which demanded the country's president be released following the military junta seizing power in the state and declaring control on national television.
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Mali and Burkina Faso, which are both also ruled by military juntas, have sided with the military force in Niger that has taken power.
That junta has now shut the airspace over the country for the foreseeable future over fears of military intervention from its neighbours.
Mali and Burkina Faso have now warned that such intervention would be equal to war being declared.
That war is far from a certainty, however, with a number of countries from further afield including France, Russia and the US all invested in the area it does have the scope to escalate.
Taking to the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, Stavridis wrote on X: “Will this lead to a full-blown war in Africa? It certainly has the potential to do so, and would be a significant and devastating event.”
Reporting from AP says governments of the Western African nations have discussed the readying of resources following a stalling of negotiations with the junta in Niger.
According to Al-Jazeera the military junta in Niger, led by General Abdourahmane Tchiani and his vice president General Salifou Mody, has appealed to the Russian mercenary group Wagner for help in the face of Ecowas.
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