On 26 July 2023, the presidential guard of Niger successfully took over the presidential palace and the coup leader, General Abdourahmane Tchiani announced himself as the new leader after capturing President Mohamed Bazoum.
In March 2021, an unsuccessful attempt at a coup was also done just before the president’s sworn ceremony. The African region has a long history of coups, The ongoing Sudan crisis and now this coup could further deteriorate the stability of the whole region.
Due to global concerns, each body has vocally retaliated to the situation. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that they condemn this coup and want President Bazoum’s release. Niger has been beneficial to the EU in slowing the flow of migrants to the European states but after this coup, the EU also cut its ties with Niger. Bola Tinubu, Nigeria’s president and chairman of ECOWAS said, “The ECOWAS leadership will not accept any action that impedes the smooth functioning of legitimate authority in Niger or any part of West Africa”. The Niger military is blaming the government’s incompetence and finding it incompatible to fight the terrorism which is growing in the Sahel.
With the Wagner group operating in the neighborhood of Mali, the leader Piroghzin stated that the main reason for the instability in Niger was due to French colonialism, they had left the country but still want to keep check and balance in the region. As Russia wants to tighten its grasp over the region, the Wagner group is supporting the RSF in Sudan. The Russian influence can reach Niger as well and could have serious implications for the other states who want to maintain their hegemony.
Author: Muhammad Ramish has done two years of training at Pakistan Military Academy, Kakul. He has keen interest in Pakistan affairs as well as foreign relations.