The military in Niger announced on national television the overthrow of President Mohamed Bazum. They also announced the suspension of the constitution and all state institutions and the closure of the country's borders in western Africa.
Colonel-General Amadou Abdurahman spoke on television, surrounded by nine more servicemen in uniform. “We, the defense and security forces, have decided to put an end to the regime as you know it. the general said in a televised address. “This follows a continued deterioration in the security situation and poor economic and social governance.” According to him, the heads of ministries will continue to perform their daily duties. “All external partners are asked not to interfere,” the general continued. “Sea and air borders are closed until the situation stabilizes.”
Also, the new military junta, calling itself the National Council for the Defense of the Homeland, has imposed a curfew in the country from 22:00 to 05:00 local time.
President Bazum, who was being held by the rebels in his palace, received calls from US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who were assured of their support. On Thursday morning, a post appeared on Bazum's Twitter. “The hard-won achievements will be preserved. All the people of Niger, who love democracy and freedom, will take care of this,” it says.
President Bazum, democratically elected in 2021, is seen as a key Western ally in the fight against Islamist militants in West Africa. Since gaining independence from France in 1960, Niger, a landlocked West African nation, has seen four successful coups and several failed attempts to overthrow the current government. The last coup in the country took place in February 2010 and ended with the overthrow of President Mamadou Tanj.
Jihadists also operate in Niger. One group came to the southwest of the country in 2015 from neighboring Mali, and the second operates in the southeast, while based in the northeast of Nigeria. Groups associated with both Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State operate in the country (both are recognized as terrorist and banned in many countries of the world). Two neighboring countries, Mali and Burkina Faso, have recently witnessed coups, both initiated by jihadists.