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Subject THE GLORIOUS RUSSIAN EMPIRE EXPANDS! Niger General Declares Himself Leader as Wagner Mercs Boss Prighozin Hails the Military Coup
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Original Message The head of Niger’s presidential guard declared himself the leader of a new junta Friday after deposing a president who had been a key ally to the U.S. in the fight against extremism in Africa.

Meanwhile, in a sign that Russia could seek to exploit the turmoil in Niger, Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of Russian paramilitary group Wagner, hailed the coup plotters on Friday.

The military coup against democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum threatens to disrupt the U.S. strategy for fighting Islamist militants as they expand across western Africa.

In an address on state television, Gen. Abdourahamane Tiani, the commander of the presidential guard in Niger, said Friday that he was in charge of a junta of military officers that removed Bazoum earlier this week.

Late Thursday, Prigozhin, who was behind a failed rebellion against Russia’s army command last month, hailed the coup in Niger.

“What happened in Niger is nothing other than the struggle of the people of Niger with their colonizers,” he said in a voice-mail message posted. Following the unsuccessful mutiny at home, Prigozhin has said he wanted to focus on Wagner’s operations across Africa with expansion of Russian power there.

Wagner fighters have gained a foothold in four nations on the continent, including Mali, and are trying to enter Burkina Faso and Chad, three of Niger’s neighbors.

[link to www.wsj.com (secure)]
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