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Niger coup: Military intervention 'direct threat to Algeria' says president 

Abdelmadjid Tebboune tells local media Algiers 'absolutely rejects' military action, as Ecowas intervention looms
A member of the Ecowas regional force is seen at Denton check point in Banjul, Gambia 22 January 2017 (Reuters)
A member of the Ecowas regional force is seen at Denton checkpoint in Banjul, Gambia, 22 January 2017 (Reuters)

The Algerian president said on Saturday any military intervention in Niger would be a direct threat to his country and is "absolutely rejected".

In an interview with Ennahar TV, Abdelmadjid Tebboune urged a peaceful resolution to the ongoing political crisis in Niger triggered by a military coup that ousted its elected president last month. 

He reiterated the support of Algiers for "constitutional order" and willingness to help "return to this order".

On 26 July, members of Niger's presidential guard detained President Mohamed Bazoum, and a group of soldiers later appeared on national television to announce that they had overthrown the government.

Two days later, General Abdourahamane Tchiani, head of Niger's presidential guard, named himself head of a transitional government. 

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On 30 July, the regional bloc Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) gave the coup leaders one week to "restore constitutional order" or face possible military intervention. 

The deadline is set to expire on Sunday night, and an intervention plan was finalised by defence chiefs from Ecowas on Friday.

Algeria, which shares a 950km border with Niger, has urged calm amid fears that a military confrontation could destabilise the Sahel region. 

The North African country opposed the coup, but, like Russia and China, has called for dialogue to reduce tensions. 

Mali and Burkina Faso, Niger's neighbours to the west, said a military intervention would be seen as a "declaration of war”" against their nations and they would defend the coup leaders.

Meanwhile, a coup leader has asked for help from Russia's Wagner mercenary group, according to the Associated Press

The Wagner Group, a private military company based in Russia, has been making significant inroads into Africa, becoming an important vehicle for Moscow's strategic reach into the continent.

Established by Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, who until recently was known for his close ties to the Kremlin, the Wagner Group gained notoriety for its covert military operations and expansive trade in mining and weapons procurements, including in Mali, the Central African Republic, SudanLibya and Syria.

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