Niger tailors rushing to meet demand for Russian flags after coup

Nigerien tailor Yahaya Oumarou meticulously guided swaths of white, blue, and red fabric through his sewing machine, skillfully assembling them into the distinct three horizontal bands of the Russian flag.

The demand for these flags has surged following the recent military takeover that led to the ousting of President Mohamed Bazoum last month.

This development has sparked a certain level of pro-Russian sentiment among the crowds that rejoiced in response to the coup.

This mirrors comparable expressions of pro-Russian sentiment observed following recent military takeovers in other West African nations.

The latest coup in Sahel have raised concerns among Western powers about their diminishing influence in certain longstanding regional partnerships.

“Since the coup I have made dozens of these,” said Oumarou, who works in capital Niamey.

He mentioned that the flags of neighboring Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Mali, all of which have experienced military takeovers since 2020, were also in high demand.

The rise in anti-French sentiment across West Africa has been accompanied by an increase in support for Russia.

Since assuming power in 2021, Mali’s junta has distanced itself from France and, instead, has formed collaborations with Russian mercenaries to combat a militant insurgency in the Sahel region.

During the tumultuous anti-France protests that ensued after a coup in September 2022, the second coup in the country that year, citizens in Burkina Faso were observed waving Russian flags.

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