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Army General Declares Himself Leader After Coup in Niger

Military Coups

General Abdourahamane Tchiani has declared himself as the new head of state of Niger after the army staged a coup and detained the president.

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On state television, Télé Sahel, the general appeared with a banner identifying him as the head of a recently established military organization known as the ‘National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland.’ The general’s TV appearance comes just a day after the country’s army supported elected president Mohammed Bazoum’s ouster. Mohammed Bazoum and his family have been detained in the presidential palace since early Wednesday when the coup d’etat is reported to have officially began.

General declares coup on TV
Army General Declares Coup on TV. Photo: COURTESY

Read Also: Niger: Regional Leaders Report an Attempted Coup, President Held by Guards

General Abdourahamane Tchiani has been the head of the nation’s presidential guard since 2011. Despite multiple protests in support of the elected president Mohammed Bazoum, the army in Niger went ahead and declared General Abdourahamane as the new leader.

Niger coup
Protestors disperse in demonstrations in Niamey, Niger. Photo: AFP

Although it is unclear who has the support of the majority, the Associated Press reported that Niamey’s streets were peaceful with a faint festive atmosphere on Friday. While passing security forces, other cars honked in unison, but it was unclear if this meant they supported the coup. After the usual midday prayers, some individuals in other areas took things easy while others hoped for peace while selling goods in their businesses.

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Several global organizations have come out to condemn the coup including the UN Security Council and trade bloc ECOWAS. World leaders including France President Emmanuel Macron and USA Vice President Kamala Harris have also condemned the coup in Niger.

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