On February 3, 2023, a group of soldiers led by Colonel Mamadou Sandaogo Djima arrested President Mohamed Bazoum and Prime Minister Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou in a coup d’état. The coup leaders declared a nationwide state of emergency and suspended the constitution. They also announced the formation of a new government, with Djima as the interim president.
The coup was met with widespread condemnation from the international community. The African Union, the United Nations, and the United States all called for the immediate release of Bazoum and Mahamadou and the restoration of constitutional order.
The coup leaders have said that they took power because of the government’s failure to address the country’s problems, including corruption, poverty, and insecurity. They have promised to hold free and fair elections in the future.
However, the coup has raised concerns about the stability of Niger, which is a key ally in the fight against terrorism in the Sahel region. It remains to be seen whether the coup leaders will be able to restore order and build a legitimate government.
Here are some additional details about the coup:
The coup was reportedly carried out by members of the Special Forces Group (GMS), which is a unit of the Nigerien Armed Forces that is primarily responsible for counter-terrorism operations.
The coup leaders have said that they are not affiliated with any terrorist group. However, some analysts have expressed concerns that the coup could create a power vacuum that could be exploited by terrorist groups such as Boko Haram and the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS).
The coup has led to a wave of protests in Niger. On February 4, 2023, security forces opened fire on protesters in the capital, Niamey, killing at least five people and wounding dozens more.
The coup has also had a negative impact on the economy of Niger. The country’s stock market has fallen sharply, and foreign investors have withdrawn their money from the country.
The coup in Niger is a reminder of the challenges facing the country. Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world, and it is also one of the most insecure. The coup has further destabilized the country and made it more difficult to address these challenges.