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Niger joins checklist of Sahel African international locations to expertise army coups | World Information

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Niger is the most recent nation within the Sahel area of northwest Africa to expertise a army coup.

Since Mali’s armed takeover in August 2020, a number of neighbouring international locations have seen the same sample emerge.

Elected officers are overthrown amid rising dissatisfaction with the political regime, which is commonly accused of corruption and failing to fend off Islamic extremist teams working within the area.

Coup leaders then promise to implement a brand new, extra democratic regime, however this course of will get delayed and tensions stay unresolved.

In some international locations, this has resulted in additional coups and instability, which leaves them susceptible to hostile forces, together with each the Jihadist teams and Russian mercenaries.

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Right here Sky Information appears on the timeline of occasions throughout the Sahel belt lately and what the results have been.

Why the Sahel?

The Sahel area of African nations under the Sahara Desert embody Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger and Guinea.

They’re among the poorest on this planet and susceptible to each political instability and local weather change.

Since French colonial rule ended within the Sixties and democratic regimes had been instated for the primary time, France has maintained a army presence there.

However within the final decade Jihadist teams linked to al-Qaeda and Islamic State have been rising in energy and affect from northern Mali into neighbouring states.

Wanting to minimise instability and Islamist affect, France and different Western nations have invested closely in safety – utilizing it as a base for the broader struggle towards terrorism within the area.

However after France withdrew troops from Mali in 2022, army leaders are transferring away from their former Western allies and in direction of Russia – whose Wagner mercenary group now operates all through the belt.

Niger

Final week Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum was ousted from energy by the army, led by General Abdourahmane Tchiani.

President Mohamed Bazoum
Picture:
President Mohamed Bazoum

Mr Bazoum was the primary democratically-elected chief in Niger because the finish of French colonial rule in 1960.

He was overthrown after troopers surrounded the presidential palace within the capital Niamey. They claimed they needed to “put an finish to the regime” amid a “deteriorating safety scenario and dangerous governance”.

The Junta has since closed all borders and imposed a curfew.

Western allies have condemned the coup, fearing the armed forces will transfer away from their backing and more and more in direction of Moscow.

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Head of coup turns into Niger’s chief

Mali

The summer time of 2020 noticed a wave of protests grip Mali.

Demonstrators had been offended with the federal government’s failure to regulate preventing between warring factions within the north and south of the nation, allegations of corruption and mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic.

On 18 August the Malian Armed Forces staged a mutiny.

Troopers led by Colonel Assimi Goita overthrew a army base within the city of Kati earlier than vehicles closed in on the capital of Bamako.

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and different authorities officers had been detained by the group of army leaders who known as themselves the Nationwide Committee for the Salvation of the Individuals.

On 12 September they agreed to an 18-month timeframe for civilian rule being reintroduced.

Learn extra:
Toppled Niger government encouraged French strikes
Niger coup backers wave Russian flags

However seven months into the transition course of in Could 2021 the interim president and prime minister had been ousted in a second coup and Col Goita was made president of the transitional authorities.

France withdrew its troops from Mali in the summertime of 2022. In June this yr, a referendum on a brand new structure designed to strengthen presidential powers was held, with 97% voting in favour.

Critics say the vote was designed to maintain Col Goita and his crew in energy past the elections – at the moment scheduled for February 2024.

Wagner mercenaries in Mali. Pic:AP
Picture:
Wagner mercenaries in Mali. Pic: AP

Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso noticed two coups in simply eight months final yr.

On 24 January 2022, troopers appeared on nationwide TV to say they’d seized energy from democratically-elected President Roch Marc Christian Kabore.

Lieutenant Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba was sworn in as his substitute on 16 February.

However on 30 September troopers ousted him and as a substitute named Captain Ibrahim Traore as transitional president.

On the similar time, there was rising discontent with France’s ongoing presence within the nation.

Protesters attacked symbols of the previous colonial energy.

Captain Traore’s nationwide meeting was shaped largely of military officers who promised democratic elections and the return of civilian energy by July 2024.

However firstly of this yr, the president ousted French troops and as a substitute regarded to Russia, which has been working in Mali, for assist in heading off Islamist advances.

Russia's Vladimir Putin and Burkina Faso President Ibrahim Traore in Saint Petersburg this year
Picture:
Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Burkina Faso President Ibrahim Traore in Saint Petersburg this yr

Sudan

Following three many years of autocratic rule below President Omar al-Bashir, in 2019 the army overthrew him and imposed the Transitional Army Council to supervise a so-called peaceable transition of energy.

This was led by transitional prime minister Abdalla Hamdok and a power-sharing physique of army officers and civilians.

However in October 2021, preventing between the military and paramilitary Fast Assist Forces (RSF) noticed the prime minister and his household detained and the power-sharing settlement deserted.

The coup was led by Basic Abdel Fattah al-Buhran.

Since then preventing in Sudan has resulted in lots of of deaths with no clear path to a democratic decision.

Earlier this yr al-Buhran accused the pinnacle of the RSF, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, of an tried coup.

Learn extra:
Inside refugee camps as thousands flee Sudan

Chad

Chad stays below army rule since its long-time president Idriss Deby was killed in preventing towards rebels within the north of the nation in April 2021.

His son, Basic Mahamat Idriss Deby, now leads the nation because the interim head-of-state, a transfer that goes towards the nation’s structure.

He promised a transition to democracy inside 18 months.

However when that interval elapsed in autumn 2022, it was prolonged by one other two years, triggering protests and a subsequent army crackdown.

Mohamed Bazoum (R) pictured with Chad leader Mahamat Idriss Deby (L). Pic: Mahamat Idriss Deby/Facebook
Picture:
Ousted Niger chief Mohamed Bazoum (R) with the late Mahamat Idriss Deby of chad (L). Pic: Mahamat Idriss Deby/Fb

Guinea

Guinea’s coup started on 5 September 2021 when President Alpha Conde was overthrown by the chief of the military Colonel Mamady Doumbouya.

Justifying the choice, the previous French legionnaire mentioned the military had no selection however to take motion towards corruption, human rights abuses and financial errors below President Conde.

The federal government and structure had been dissolved and the Financial Neighborhood of West African States (ECOWAS) gave an preliminary deadline of 25 April for reinstating civilian rule.

Guinea’s junta is below sanctions whereas the Nationwide Transition Council says it’s working to its 39-month deadline.



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