A figure in Niger’s ruling junta, General Salifou Mody, arrived in Mali on Wednesday, whose military leaders have shown solidarity with their Nigerien counterparts in the face of international pressure, two senior officials said.
General Mody, former Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces sacked in April and member of the group of soldiers who have just taken over Niger by force, traveled to neighboring Mali at the head of a delegation, said on condition of anonymity a senior Nigerien official and a senior Malian security official.
In a surprising turn of events, General Salifou Mody, a prominent figure in Niger’s ruling junta, has arrived in Mali amidst growing international pressure. This visit comes as Mali’s military leaders express their solidarity with their Nigerien counterparts who recently seized power in a coup.
General Mody, who was previously the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces in Niger before being dismissed in April, made the journey to Mali alongside a delegation. The news was confirmed by two senior officials, one from Niger and the other from Mali, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The visit of General Mody to Mali has raised eyebrows and sparked speculation about the intentions of both the Nigerien and Malian military. It is unclear whether this meeting is purely diplomatic or if there are deeper discussions taking place between the two nations’ military factions.
Niger’s ruling junta took control of the country in a coup earlier this year, overthrowing the government of President Mahamadou Issoufou. This move was met with condemnation from the international community, which called for a swift return to democratic governance and the rule of law. However, the military leaders in Niger have remained defiant, maintaining their grip on power and resisting international pressure.
Mali, on the other hand, has a troubled history of military coups. The country has experienced multiple coups in the past decade, the most recent one occurring in August 2020. This coup led to the ousting of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who was facing mounting public discontent over corruption and insecurity.
Despite the international community’s condemnation of military takeovers, Mali’s military leaders have shown support for their Nigerien counterparts. This display of solidarity raises questions about the regional dynamics at play and the potential for further collaboration between the two nations.
The visit of General Mody to Mali also comes at a time when the Sahel region is grappling with a myriad of security challenges. Both Niger and Mali have been plagued by armed extremist groups, including Boko Haram and the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara. These groups have carried out numerous attacks, causing instability and posing a threat to regional security.
It remains to be seen what the outcome of General Mody’s visit will be and how it will impact the political and security situation in both Niger and Mali. The international community will be closely monitoring developments and urging for a peaceful resolution that upholds democratic principles and ensures the safety and well-being of the populations in these countries.
As the situation continues to unfold, it is evident that the political landscape in the Sahel remains precarious. The actions and decisions of military leaders will have far-reaching consequences not only for Niger and Mali but for the entire region.