Niger Coup: 7 Shocking Things that has Happened So Far 
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News around Africa - August 2, 2023

Niger Coup: 7 Shocking Things that has Happened So Far 

In a shocking turn of events, Niger, a West African nation, has plunged into political turmoil with a military coup unfolding on national television. Led by Colonel Amadou Abdramane, the military forces have taken drastic measures, dissolving the constitution, suspending institutions, and sealing off the nation’s borders. This upheaval has resulted in the capture of the democratically-elected President, Mohamed Bazoum, by the presidential guard. 

The international community has expressed concern, with the US Secretary of State and the UN Secretary General standing in support of Niger’s legitimate government and democracy. Through the Social media platforms, Twitter, was used in disseminating information about the coup attempt, leading to clashes between the presidential guard and Bazoum’s supporters. 

As ECOWAS and the African Union condemned the coup d’etat, the presidency reassured the public that President Bazoum and his family are safe. The unfolding situation in Niger is being closely monitored worldwide, with deep concern for the country’s political stability and the well-being of its leadership. This article would highlight some of the dumbstrucking things that have happened since the start of the coup.

How the coup happened  

In a dramatic and unprecedented move, soldiers in Niger successfully removed President Mohamed Bazoum from power. The coup began when armed troops blockaded the presidential palace in Niamey, the capital of one of the world’s most unstable nations. This bold action by the military resulted in the dissolution of the constitutional order and the suspension of key institutions, plunging the nation into a state of political turmoil. 

As the democratically-elected President Bazoum was held captive by the presidential guard, the situation escalated rapidly, raising international concern and condemnation. The coup’s swift and forceful execution has shaken the nation and the global community, with serious implications for Niger’s political stability and democratic processes.

President own guards seized the president

President Mohamed Bazoum was seized by members of the presidential guard on Wednesday, triggering international condemnation and sparking renewed uncertainty in a volatile part of Africa riddled with coups and militant extremism. Foreign Minister Hassoumi Massoudou denounced the actions as an “attempted coup d’etat,” but clarified that the entire army was not involved. 

He urged the mutinous officers to return to their ranks while mentioning ongoing mediation efforts, including involvement from the President of Nigeria, who is engaging in dialogue with the military. The situation remains tense and concerning as Niger grapples with the aftermath of the President’s capture and the potential implications for stability in the region.

Tchiani, named himself head of a transitional government

Abdourahmane Tchiani, head of Niger’s presidential guard, declared himself as the head of a transitional government. In a broadcast on state-run television, he proclaimed to be the “president of the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland.” 

Justifying the intervention, the 62-year-old general stated that it was necessary to prevent the country’s “gradual and inevitable demise.” This bold move has further intensified the political crisis in Niger, with questions surrounding the legitimacy of the transitional government and its impact on the nation’s already precarious stability.

Coup plotters blamed rising insecurity and a lack of economic growth in the country

The coup plotters pointed to the escalating insecurity and stagnant economic growth as the reasons behind their intervention. Citing the need to prevent the country’s “gradual and inevitable demise,” they have justified their actions as necessary to address the pressing challenges faced by Niger. However, their coup has further destabilized the nation, raising concerns about the potential repercussions on governance, security, and economic prospects in the region.

The EU, France, and the US cut off financial support to Niger

Following the coup, the EU and France swiftly cut off financial support to Niger, while the United States threatened to do the same. The EU foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, announced the immediate cessation of budget support and suspended all security cooperation actions. France, in turn, suspended all development aid and budget support, emphasizing the need for a prompt return to constitutional order with President Bazoum back in charge. 

This abrupt withdrawal of financial assistance has further compounded Niger’s crisis, jeopardizing vital governance, education, and sustainable growth programs funded by the EU and France, and potentially exacerbating the country’s economic challenges.

ECOWAS leaders gathered in the Nigerian capital for an emergency summit

ECOWAS leaders convened in the Nigerian capital for an emergency summit to address the crisis in Niger. Military leaders warned against armed intervention, vowing to defend their homeland. The regional bloc demanded President Bazoum’s reinstatement within a week, threatening to take “all measures,” including the use of force, to restore constitutional order. 

ECOWAS imposed financial sanctions, freezing transactions between member states and Niger. Chad’s President also engaged in crisis resolution efforts, meeting with coup leaders and Bazoum. The AU issued a 15-day ultimatum to the military government, urging the reinstatement of the democratically elected government. The situation remains highly tense and uncertain.

Coup leaders claim the toppled government authorized France’s attack

The coup leaders in Niger made a startling claim that the toppled government had authorized France to launch an attack on the presidential palace in an attempt to free President Bazoum. According to Colonel Amadou Abdramane, the authorization was allegedly signed by Foreign Minister Hassoumi Massoudou, who was acting as prime minister. 

In response to the coup and the serious allegations, Germany suspended all direct support payments to Niger’s central government until further notice. Additionally, the planned 30 billion CFA franc ($51 million) bond issuance by Niger in the West African regional debt market was canceled by the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO). The situation remains highly contentious and has led to significant disruptions in financial and diplomatic relations.

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