REPORT: Soldiers Announce They’ve Overthrown President Of Niger Over Security Deterioration

(Photo by -/ORTN - Télé Sahel/AFP via Getty Images)

Alyssa Rinelli Contributor
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Soldiers from the country of Niger claimed Wednesday that they have overthrown democratically-elected President Mohamed Bazoum, according to multiple reports.

The announcement was made on national television by Colonel Amadou Abdramane and nine other officers, citing the alleged deteriorating security situation and bad governance as the reasons behind their actions.

Soldiers surrounded the presidential palace Tuesday, leaving Bazoum barricaded inside. Since then, soldiers said that all institutions have been suspended, land borders have been closed and a national curfew has been set, according to The Associated Press.

Supporters of the coup set fire to the ruling party’s headquarters Thursday, according to Reuters. In response, police fired teargas at the protesters.


A general view of billowing smoke as supporters of the Nigerien defence and security forces attack the headquarters of the Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism. (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

Bazoum’s transition to power two years ago was considered a significant milestone for Niger. However, the sudden coup threatens the stability of Africa’s Sahel region, which has grappled with multiple coups and extremist attacks in neighboring countries, like Mali and Burkina Faso. The U.S. had been actively seeking to strengthen ties with Niger, viewing it as a potential security anchor for the Sahel region. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to Niger in March was part of this effort. (RELATED: American Aid Worker Free After Six Years In Captivity In Niger)

Ulf Laessing, head of the Sahel program at the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, said the coup was a “nightmare scenario for Western powers who had betted on Bazoum and Niger as the new security anchor for the Sahel.”

Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, the chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, vowed to resist any attempt to unseat Niger’s government.

“We will do everything within our powers to ensure democracy is firmly planted, nurtured, well rooted and thrives in our region,” Tinubu stated.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee also weighed in on the unfolding situation, with Ranking Member Gregory Meeks and Chairman Michael McCaul expressing their concern and condemnation of the situation. “We welcome Nigeria’s swift action to mediate. We will continue to closely follow the situation, including the safety and well-being of U.S. citizens,” they added.

The situation in Niger remains ongoing.