Russia on Friday warned against a military intervention in Niger, a day after West African leaders said they would muster a “standby” force in their efforts to return the president toppled by a coup.

“We believe that a military solution to the crisis in Niger could lead to a protracted confrontation in that African country, and to a sharp destabilisation of the situation in the Sahara-Sahel region as a whole,” the Russian foreign ministry said.

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