Two days after his unit deposed the democratically elected President, Mohamed Bazoum, the leader of Niger’s presidential guard, Abdourahmane Tchiani, declared himself to be in charge of a transitional administration.
On Friday, Tchiani declared himself to be the “president of the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland” on state television.
According to Al Jazeera, the 62-year-old general further said that the intervention was required to save “the gradual and inevitable demise” of the nation.
While Bazoum had attempted to persuade people that “all is well,” the unpleasant reality, according to him, was a “pile of dead, displaced, humiliation, and frustration.”
Despite significant sacrifices, Tchiani claimed that “the security approach today has not brought security to the country.”
A timetable for the transition back to civilian leadership was not mentioned.
Tchiani, who was chosen in 2015 to command the special brigade, hails from Tillaberi, a major hub for army recruiting in western Niger. Mahamadou Issoufou, the politician who presided over the nation from 2011 to 2021, continues to regard him as a close buddy.
When a military detachment attempted to capture the presidential palace in March 2021, just days before Bazoum, who had just been elected, was scheduled to be inaugurated in, the general allegedly spearheaded the opposition.
Bazoum was arrested by Tchiani’s team on Wednesday in the presidential palace in the nation’s capital, Niamey, setting up a rush of criticism from African and international leaders. It is still unknown whether Bazoum is still being held captive or where he is.
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According to Colonel Amadou Abdramane, the Nigerian army’s spokesperson, security forces have chosen to “put an end to the regime that you know due to the deteriorating security situation and bad governance,” according to a statement made on state television on Wednesday.
All Niger institutions have been halted, according to Abdramane, and the country’s borders have been blocked. The troops promised to respect Bazoum’s well-being while admonishing against any outside meddling.
A defiant Bazoum had said hours earlier that the nation’s “hard-won gains” in building democracy will be safeguarded.
He stated on the social media site X, formerly known as Twitter, early on Thursday that “all Nigerians who love democracy and freedom would want this.”
Since gaining independence from France, the landlocked nation has had five successful coup attempts.
But it was also the sixth in West Africa in three years, following two each in Burkina Faso and Mali, reinstating the term “coup belt” for the region amid concerns for the security of the larger Sahel, one of the most dangerous regions in recent years.