Russia on Wednesday called for “urgent national dialogue” in Niger and warned threats of intervention in the wake of a coup that ousted its democratically elected president were unhelpful.
“It’s very important to prevent a further deterioration of the situation in the country,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters, saying dialogue was needed for the “restoration of civil peace and to ensure law and order.”
Niger has been shaken by a coup that alarmed its neighbors and prompted France — the former colonial power — to evacuate its citizens.
West Africa’s regional bloc said Wednesday that a military intervention in the fragile country was a “last resort.”
Military chiefs from the Economic Community of West African States were meeting on Wednesday to frame a response to the coup and a delegation was in Niger for negotiations.
“We believe that the threat to use force against a sovereign state will not help ease tensions or calm the domestic situation,” Zakharova added in her briefing.