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McFate Talks to RadioFreeEurope, VOA News About the Coup in Niger

August 11, 2023

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty,VOA News

Sean McFate

Sean McFate

U.S.-Niger relations are on the verge of collapse after military officials ousted the president and seized power in July. The coup—if it succeeds—also threatens to deepen regional instability, weaken regional security, and possibly open the door to greater Russian influence in the Sahel and beyond, experts warn.

“This is an alarming trend,” Sean McFate, adjunct professor in Maxwell's Washington programs, tells RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. “The more coups happen, the more success they enjoy, the more temptation there will be for future juntas around Africa,” adding that the trend has opened the door for increasing Russia's influence.

“Russia is exploiting anti-French attitudes across the Sahel so that they can supplant France politically, hegemonically throughout the region,” McFate says. “Russia wants everybody looking toward Moscow and not toward Washington or Paris.”

McFate was also quoted in the VOA News articles, “Washington Closely Watching Niger After Coup,” and “Niger Junta Defies ECOWAS and International Community Pressure.”

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