Coup: We Will Hold Russia Responsible If Wagner Violates Human Rights- ECOWAS

ECOWAS has declared that Russia will be responsible if the Wagner Group, a private military contractor from Eastern Europe, breaches human rights over the Niger coup. Ambassador Abdel-Fatau Musah, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security, conveyed this during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Friday. He also highlighted that a different West African country had an independent agreement with the security organization.

“The Wagner Group, apparently, is in Mali today. The Malian government says this is an agreement between them and the Russian Federation,” Musah said.

“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.”

Asked if he meant Russia, the ECOWAS official stressed, “That’s Russia — (we will hold them) responsible, diplomatically. The West African region is just not Russia.”

Musah mentioned that private military firms have been a consistent presence in the African conflict landscape for many years.

He said, “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.”

The ECOWAS commissioner also pointed out the ongoing participation of Western forces in Niger, which includes France and the European Union (EU). Additionally, he noted that the region has experienced an increase in the presence of Middle Eastern countries like Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia, much like Russia and China.

“What we are saying is that we are not going to allow West Africa to be an arena of proxy wars again. And that is our attitude to Wagner. It is not our option,” he said.

“We do not want private military companies interfering in the conflict environment in the region because we know the consequences of their action.”


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