Despite the warning given by the ECOWAS chairperson, President Bola Tinubu, against the illegal removal of the democratically elected government of Niger Republic, the country’s coup plotters have warned against any foreign intervention.
Recall that a group of soldiers who appeared on the country’s national television Wednesday night, hours after the President of Niger Mohamed Bazoum was held in the presidential palace, declared that his government had been ousted from power.
Colonel Amadou Abdramane, in a statement said defence and security forces had decided to “put an end to the regime that you know due to the deteriorating security situation and bad governance.”
Abdramane said Niger’s borders are closed, a nationwide curfew declared, and all institutions of the republic are suspended.
The soldiers warned against any foreign intervention, adding that they would respect Bazoum’s well-being.
The military takeover, which marks the seventh coup in the West and Central Africa region since 2020, could further complicate western efforts to help countries in the Sahel region fight a jihadist insurgency that has spread from Mali over the past decade.
Land-locked Niger, a former French colony, has become a pivotal ally for western powers seeking to help fight the insurgencies, but they are facing growing acrimony from the new juntas in charge in Mali and Burkina Faso.
Niger is also a key ally of the European Union in the fight against irregular migration from sub-Saharan Africa.
France moved troops to Niger from Mali last year after its relations with interim authorities there soured.
It has also withdrawn Special Forces from Burkina Faso amid similar tensions.