In a recent turn of events, Nigeria is facing yet another period of turmoil and uncertainty as the Presidential Guard announced the removal from power of President Mohammed Bazoum or as they said, “put an end to the regime due to the deteriorating security situation and bad governance”. This took place on July 26, 2023, after several hours of detaining the President in his house. In response to the coup, some protesters took to the streets, demanding a swift transition to civilian rule and expressing their concerns over the military’s takeover.
Niger’s political environment has been subjected to tension and unrest for a long time during which the nation grappled with issues such as bad socio-economic conditions, corruption, and insurgency. The poor handling of these situations by the civilian government invited criticism and mistrust from the population and especially the military.
One of the key points here that are not to be missed includes the growing dissatisfaction of Nigerian military with the influence of Western powers and an inclination towards their archenemy, Russia. This is evident from the four coups that the country faced since the time of their independence. Bazoum had been a crucial ally for the West, propagating their ideology of democracy and progress as well as in their fight against the Jihadist movement in the Sahel Region.
The international community had a swift response to the situation with the AU, EU and USA condemning this seizure of power by force and calling for the immediate release of the President. Niger, formerly one of the only stable countries in the region has now left the global community wondering what implications this will have on regional security and stability with fears of a spill over to other countries growing. The coup also follows past military overthrows in the area, most notably in Burkina Faso and Mali. The region is faced with ambiguity and unrest as the actions and intentions of the perpetrators of this coup remain unknown.
The situation remains fluid, with the military asserting its authority and promising to hold power temporarily until a stable governance framework is established.
Author: Ifra Mazher is an undergraduate student of QAU currently enrolled in B.S Defence and Strategic Studies. She is enthusiastic about international relations and politics and desires to develop a deeper understanding of regional security, defence and conflict resolution through research.