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Military Coup in Niger

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August 08, 2023

Why in news?

Recently, Niger’s President Mr.Mohamed Bazoum is detained by elite military troops who declared that they now hold the power.

What is the history of Niger?

  • History- Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world.
  • It was a French colony until 1960.
  • Since independence, the country have lived under 5 constitutions and 3 periods of military rule.
  • After the military coup in 2010, Niger became a multi-party state.

nigercoup

  • Geography- It is the largest landlocked country in West Africa, over 80% of the land lies in Sahara desert.
  • Border countries - Libya, Chad, Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali and Algeria.
  • It is the part of Great Green Wall of Africa project, the world’s most ambitious reforestation project.
  • Economy- It is concentrated around subsistence agriculture, with some export agriculture in the less arid south, and export of raw materials, including uranium ore.

Sahel region

  • The word Sahel, or Sahil in Arabic means coast or shore.
  • Sahel is the vast region of western and north-central Africa that stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea along Sahara desert's southern rim.
  • It is a biogeographic realm of transition between the Sahara to the north and the Sudanian savanna to the south.
  • There are several political definitions of the Sahel according to which the area comprises 12 countries and houses 400 million people.
  • However, countries like Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mauritania form the core of the Sahel region. This group is also called the G5 Sahel.
  • Other political definitions include countries like Senegal, Nigeria, Sudan, South Sudan and Eritrea.

What is the issue now?

  • Political stability- Niger witnessed political stability during two term Presidential ruling of Mahamadou Issoufou.
  • In 2021, his Cabinet Minister Mr. Bazoum was elected President, in the first democratic transfer of power since the country’s independence.
  • Recently, the President and his family members are detained by the elite military troops and they declared that they now hold power.
  • Military coup- General Abdourahamane Tchiani, who is the the leader of the group declared himself the head of the state.

This is the 7th coup in western and central Africa since 2020, including two each witnessed by Niger’s neighbours Burkina Faso and Mali.

  • The rationale behind the military takeover is continued deterioration of the security situation and poor economic and social governance in the country.
  • Tchiani told that the nation would be run by a newly formed military body, the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland.

military-coups

What was the global reaction?

  • West African nations- They have imposed sanctions and threatened to use force if the coup leaders do not reinstate the President.
  • African Union- It demanded the country’s military return to their barracks and restore constitutional authority within 15 days.
  • European Union- It announced the suspension of security and funding cooperation with Niger, declaring that it would not recognise the military coup.
  • Russia- Russia’s private military group Wagner expressed the support of military takeover in Nigeria.

Operation Serval- It is a Franch led Operation started in 2013, targeting Islamic extremists linked to al-Qaeda who took control of northern Mali.

Operation Barkhane- Operation Serval was renamed as Barkhane in 2014 which aimed at countering terrorism in the wider region

 

References

  1. The Hindu- Explained what is behind the coup in niger
  2. Indian Express-West African nations threatens to use force
  3. Niger - Image
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