English News

  • youtube
  • facebook
  • twitter

Is there a Russian hand in Niger’s military coup?

Pro-Russia slogans can be heard in Niger following a military coup

Imposing economic and travel sanctions on the Niger military coup leaders on Sunday, the West African nations have threatened to use force if country’s President Mohamed Bazoum is not reinstated within a week, reported Al Jazeera.
The military has been holding Niger’s elected president, Bazoum, since Wednesday in the third attempt to depose a Sahelian leader in as many years. The formidable presidential guard’s commander, General Abdourahmane Tiani, has declared himself the leader.
The 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regional bloc asked on Sunday that Bazoum be reinstated within a week at an emergency conference held in Nigeria.
If not, the bloc threatened to use “all measures” to reestablish the rule of law.
In a statement, it warned that “Such measures may include the use of force for this effect,” and that the ECOWAS defence chiefs would convene later on Sunday
Along with imposing financial penalties, the bloc also banned “all commercial and financial transactions” between its members and Niger, one of the world’s poorest countries that frequently comes in last on the UN’s Human Development Index, according to Al Jazeera.
Bazoum is one of the few remaining elected presidents and pro-Western figures in the Sahel, where armed uprisings that began in 2020 have since led to coups in Mali and Burkina Faso.
Following the coup, former colonial powers France and the European Union withdrew their financial and security assistance to Niger, while the United States issued a warning that its own assistance would be at risk.
Thousands of people who supported a military coup voiced anger over France’s influence in its former colony, Niger, resulting in tense and violent scenes in front of the French Embassy, CNN reported on Sunday.
The pro-coup protestors were seen chanting the names of Russian President Vladimir Putin, despite requests from the Kremlin to release the nation’s democratically elected president, Mohamed Bazoum.

A plaque designating the Embassy was destroyed by some protesters, who later replaced it with Russian and Nigerian flags. In the masses, there were slogans of “down with France,” “long live Putin,” and “long live Russia.”
In an effort to disperse the demonstrators, police officers in Niger used tear gas shells.