France in a statement urged for an “immediate return to the Nigerien constitutional order,” adding its voice to the mounting pressure on the military coup plotters.
Just hours earlier, the European Union took a decisive stand, suspending all security cooperation with Niger and announcing the cessation of financial support. This move carried significant weight, considering Niger’s status as one of the world’s poorest nations, relying heavily on substantial financial aid, as reported by CNN.
The coup’s aftermath saw the ascension of a new leader, General Abdourahamane Tiani, who now heads the country’s presidential guard. The sudden change in leadership unfolded after the detention of President Mohamed Bazoum earlier in the week.
Reacting to the unfolding events, Josep Borell, the EU’s foreign policy chief, voiced his strong disapproval, stating, “This unacceptable attack on the integrity of Niger’s republican institutions will not remain without consequences for the partnership and cooperation between the European Union and Niger, in all its various aspects.”
Moreover, Borell passionately emphasized that President Bazoum’s election was a testament to democracy, underscoring that he remains the only legitimate leader and must be released unconditionally and without delay.
The international community echoed their concerns, with leaders from Washington to Moscow joining the chorus, urging for President Bazoum’s release, but so far, these calls have fallen on deaf ears.
CNN’s coverage highlighted the African Union’s demand that the Nigerien military personnel “immediately and unconditionally return to their barracks and restore constitutional authority” within 15 days. The AU issued a stern warning, vowing to take necessary action, including punitive measures against the perpetrators, should they fail to respect the rights of political detainees.
Borell and French President Emmanuel Macron offered their unwavering support to regional organizations, such as the Economic Community of West African States, in case they decide to impose sanctions against Niger.
Yet, despite the overwhelming international pressure, the situation’s ultimate outcome remains uncertain, leaving the world wondering to what extent the weight of global influence will sway those attempting to hold on to power.
The emergence of General Abdourahamane Tiani as Niger’s new leader came amidst a storm of condemnation from the international community. CNN reported that he made a bold appearance on national television, proudly displaying a banner identifying himself as the “President of the national council for the Preservation of the Homeland.”
This televised declaration came only a day after the country’s military endorsed the coup leaders responsible for toppling President Mohamed Bazoum’s government.
Nevertheless, even with the coup seemingly successful, a loyalist to the deposed president revealed that infighting among the plotters persisted, casting doubts on the coup’s finality. In response, France asserted that the coup’s fate was far from sealed.
General Tiani defended the military’s actions during his broadcast appearance, citing the need to “preserve our homeland” amid a backdrop of a “deteriorating security situation” and inadequate economic and social governance, according to CNN’s report.
The situation in Niger remains fluid and tense, with international pressure mounting on those who have taken power. The world watches with bated breath to see how events unfold, hoping for a swift restoration of democratic order and the release of the democratically elected President Bazoum.