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Military Coup in Niger: Presidential Guard Chief Proclaims Himself New Leader

General Abdourahamane Tiani, the chief of Niger’s Presidential Guard that led a coup against President Mohamed Bazoum, has proclaimed himself as the new leader of the country.

Soldiers of the Presidential Guard had claimed to have overthrown the government in Niger and detained President Mohamed Bazoum in the presidential palace in Niamey, the capital city, in an attempted coup on Wednesday. Colonel-Major Amadou Abdramane, accompanied by nine other soldiers, said in a televised statement, "We, the defence and security forces... have decided to put an end to the regime you know.” Stringent measures were implemented such as closure of the country’s borders and the imposition of a nationwide curfew. Furthermore, all institutions in the nation were said to have been temporarily suspended.

The African Union and ECOWAS – Economic Community of West African States – condemned the attempted coup d'etat, with ECOWAS announcing on Sunday that it will convene an urgent meeting in Abuja, Nigeria to address the situation in Niger.

The military in Niger expressed its support for the security forces that led the coup against the President. Major General Abdou Sidikou Issa said in a statement that the decision was taken to “avoid a deadly confrontation between the various forces.” Regardless, the scene turned violent in Niamey as the city witnessed widespread looting and disorder. Supporters of the coup attacked Bazoum’s party headquarters, setting it alight. Many demonstrators waved Russian flags, reflecting an emerging sentiment of animosity towards the West, namely France and the United States which have military bases in the West African country. Both nations promptly expressed their condemnation of the situation.

Since gaining independence from France in 1960, Niger has experienced four coups and numerous attempts. The landlocked country is a crucial ally for Western powers in their efforts to combat Jihadist groups in the Sahel region. Bazoum, elected in 2021, was one of the few remaining pro-Western leaders in the region as governments in neighbouring Mali and Burkina Faso were toppled in similar military coups in 2020 and 2022 respectively.


Apprehensions have risen in the West regarding the potential alliances of the newly declared leadership in Niger. In the wake of their respective coups, Burkina Faso and Mali have shifted their stance towards Russia. This development has sparked curiosity and concern amongst the international community about the future alignment of Niger under its new leadership.

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