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News > Niger

Niger: Coup Plotters Accuse France of Violating Airspace

  • Niger's military junta instructed to raise the alert level. Aug. 9, 2023.

    Niger's military junta instructed to raise the alert level. Aug. 9, 2023. | Photo: Twitter / @DD_Geopolitics

Published 9 August 2023

Niger military junta accuses France of attacking its National Guard and violating its airspace.

Niger's military regime accused France on Wednesday (09.08.2023) of having violated the airspace closure in force since Sunday and released "terrorist prisoners", accusations quickly denied by Paris.


Nigeria: New Sanctions on Niger’s Junta Supporters

"Today, August 9, 2023, at 6:30 a.m. [local time], the positions of the National Guard of Niger (...) were the target of an attack (...) The actions of the French forces were condemned for unilaterally releasing the detained terrorists," said Amadu Abdraman, spokesman for the rebels.

Niger's military junta instructed to raise the alert level. This comes after several of its neighboring countries threatened a military invasion.

According to the military junta, casualty and death tolls have not yet been determined.

These accusations come before a regional meeting to discuss the eventual reestablishment of constitutional order by force in this West African country and former French colony.

On July 26, a group of officers integrated in the National Council for the Safeguarding of the Homeland (CNSP) proclaimed the dismissal of the Nigerian president, Mohamed Bazoum, alleging "the continuous deterioration of the security situation" and "bad economic and social governance". 

The following day, the command of the Nigerian Army proclaimed that it was joining the coup officers to avoid a bloodbath and to preserve the physical integrity of Bazoum, currently under arrest.

On July 28 it was announced that General Omar (Abdurahamane) Tchiani, former commander of the presidential guard, assumes the leadership of the CNSP and the functions of "transitional president" in the African country. The military junta suspended the institutions of power, closed Niger's land and air borders and imposed a nationwide curfew.
On August 6, the seven-day ultimatum given by the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) to the Nigerien military to return power to Mohamed Bazoum expired, otherwise it threatened armed intervention in the country.

Why did the coup d'état happen in Nigeria?
The president, Mohamed Bazoum, has been dismissed by a military junta and held in the Presidential Palace. The perpetrators of the coup accuse him of corruption and of not doing enough to improve the security situation in the country to put an end to the jihadist insurgency.

Niger, one of the poorest countries in the world, has an economy based on subsistence agriculture, on which around 90% of the population lives, but is the world's fourth-largest producer of uranium, according to data from the World Nuclear Association.

The African country gained its independence from France in 1960, but the political evolution of the nation has been characterized by continuous military interventions, as well as political instability, in a framework of poverty and internal conflicts.

Niger is one of the few remaining democracies in the Sahel belt that stretches across the African continent, but after the army seized power, there are concerns about what this could mean for the troubled region.

Now, the fall of Bazoum means for the West the loss of a close ally, as since his coming to power he was openly willing to collaborate with European countries, more specifically with France.

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