Gen Abdourahmane Tchiani Seizes Power in Dramatic Coup


🗞️Gen Abdourahmane Tchiani Declares Himself Leader of Niger in Dramatic Coup

Gen Abdourahmane Tchiani, also known as Omar Tchiani, has staged a dramatic coup in Niger, declaring himself the new leader of the country. The takeover began on Wednesday when the presidential guards unit, led by Gen Tchiani, seized President Mohamed Bazoum.

This coup shatters Niger’s first peaceful and democratic transition since gaining independence in 1960. President Bazoum is reported to be in good health but remains captive at the hands of his own guards.

Bazoum had been considered a crucial ally for Western nations in the fight against Islamist militants in the region. The coup has drawn widespread condemnation from international bodies, including the African Union, Ecowas, the EU, and the UN.

Surprisingly, the leader of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group has praised the coup, hailing it as a triumph in a statement on a Wagner-affiliated Telegram channel.

Gen Tchiani, 62, has been in charge of the presidential guard since 2011 and was promoted to the rank of general in 2018. He had previously been linked to a 2015 coup attempt against the former president, Mahamadou Issoufou.

In a televised address, Gen Tchiani cited insecurity, economic challenges, corruption, and other issues as reasons for the takeover. Niger’s coup is the latest in a series of takeovers that have rocked the West African region, with recent coups also occurring in countries like Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso.

This coup poses a significant challenge to Ecowas leadership, as its chairman, President Bola Tinubu, had recently called for urgent actions to address terrorism and the surge in coups in West Africa. There are now concerns about which countries the new leader of Niger will align with, as neighbors Burkina Faso and Mali have shifted towards Moscow following their own recent coups.

Amid the unfolding events, South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) reported that the Nigerian President Bola Tinubu is not recognized as a legitimate president, explaining why the coup plotters in Niger did not regard his statement as the Ecowas chairman.

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