Military in Niger Announces Coup

( – The Sahel region of Africa is erupting into new instability after the recent coup overthrowing President Mohamed Bazoum. According to reports, Bazoum was overthrown by his own palace guards. Bazoum is the first President of Niger to assume office after a peaceful transfer of power in the past 63 years since the nation gained its independence. Rebels who ousted him have named General Abdourahmane Tchiani as the new leader and say he will restore order and the rule of law to replace the “corrupt regime” of Bazoum.

Africa’s Sahel region goes from the Red Sea near Egypt all the way to the Atlantic Ocean and has been plagued by deep instability including Islamic insurgent groups and tribal wars. They say the president and his family are safe inside the palace and have to be protected from the instability in the rest of the country, although for his part Bazoum has promised he won’t give up on the “hard-won” gains the country has experienced in the past years. Russia has tried to exert more influence in the Sahel over the past decade, leading the United States to seek closer ties to friendly administrations such as that of Bazoum. Niger is the biggest nation in West Africa and had been fairly stable in the last few years, especially compared to its highly volatile neighbor states of Burkina Faso and Mali.

According to the US State Department, the nation of Niger has been a “linchpin for stability” in the region, but all that is now in question as the military seizes control. According to the rebels who have seized power, they needed to do so in order to truly fortify the country against attacks from Islamic extremists, especially in the border areas with Mali and Burkina Faso. Various nations such as France have refused to recognize the new authorities, saying the “putsch” is invalid and Bazoum is still the legal leader of the nation. Amid rumors that Russia’s Wagner Group mercenaries were involved in this takeover of power, the US State Department has also said they have seen no evidence of that.

Copyright 2023,