Power Impasse in Niger
Two days after rebel soldiers announced a coup to remove President Mohammad Bazoum confusion over who is in charge still exists. power impasse continues in niger
coup against bazoum Niger’s democratically elected president, Mohammed Bazoum, was detained for two days and dismissed by members of his administration.
Since Friday, soldiers have not announced the manager or the base. In March 2021, he was elected Niger’s first president since the acquisition of French independence in 1960. But he’s not withdrawn.
A statement issued on Thursday, signed by army chief Abdul Siddiqui Issa, pledged support for the coup to avoid a “murderous confrontation” that could lead to “bloodshed”.
Tensions remain high across the country between coup supporters and those loyal to the president.
Hundreds of people gathered in the opposition stronghold of the capital Niamey on Thursday, waving Russian flags and chanting slogans in support of the Russian military group Wagner. They then burned cars and vandalized the headquarters of the president’s political party. “We’ve had enough,” Omar Ithaka, one of the protesters, told The Associated Press.
“We are tired of the jungle men’s determination… to overthrow the French people. We now want to cooperate with Russia,” he said. Soldiers fired shots Wednesday to disperse anti-coup protesters gathered around the presidential palace.
Meanwhile, in a statement on Thursday on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, Bazum defiantly announced that democracy would prevail in the country. Foreign Minister Hasumi Masudo also spoke to French 24-hour media and called on Nigerians to oppose the insurgency
There have been no other public statements from the government or rebel soldiers, and no information about mediation discussions. On Friday, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) announced that it will hold an emergency summit of the regional bloc on Sunday in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.
Earlier this week, Nigerian President and ECOWAS President Bola Tiinube announced that he had sent Benin President Patrice Talon to lead mediation efforts, but as of Friday, Talon had not arrived in Niger.
Nigeria’s state television said Tinub had also contacted US Vice President Kamal Harris and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres about the impasse. On the first speech Wednesday night, Nigerian rebels invited “external partners” not to interfere.
French Foreign Minister Catherine Colon told French media on Friday that President Emmanuel Macron had spoken to Bazuma several times. Colon said France believes it is still possible to emerge from the crisis, and Paris believes the coup attempt lacks legitimacy. “We call for the release of President Bazuma,” Macron said in Papua New Guinea on Friday, adding that if regional groups decided to impose sanctions on the coup leader, France would support them.
Impact on aid
Analysts say the coup could destabilize the country and transform international cooperation with the Sahel.
In recent years, Niger has been seen as the last major Western partner in the fight against armed groups in a region where anti-French sentiment is widespread.
Neighboring Mali and Burkina Faso withdrew French troops after they helped fight groups linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State/Islamic State.
Ibrahim Yahya Ibrahim, the senior analyst for the Sahel region at the International Crisis Group, said Niger’s contribution to the conflict has been compared to the strategy of armed civilians in Burkina Faso or the Wagner Group’s responsibility in Mali.
A stronger reaction.
The country now risks losing millions of dollars in military aid and assistance that the United States and European countries have recently pledged to help fight armed groups.
Earlier this year, the EU launched a 27 million euro ($30 million) military training mission in Niger. The US has more than 1,000 military personnel at home. There are 1,500 troops in France in joint operations with the Nigerians.
Other analysts, such as Kwesi Anin, professor of peacekeeping and director of research at the Kofi Annan Center for International Peacekeeping Studies in Accra, said the coup had raised questions about the quality of security assistance in Niger. “There are about four or five countries that want to improve Niger’s ability to fight jihadists. They have made a lot of promises, so what kind of aid failed in Mali, failed in Burkina Faso and now has failed in Niger?”