Sat. May 18th, 2024

The coup leaders in Niger have cited the continued insecurity in the country as one of the reasons why they overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum last week. But a rift between some in the military and the president had been building up, according to an expert speaking on the BBC’s Africa Daily podcast.

Olayinka Ajala, from Leeds Beckett University, said that there was an ethnic dimension to the power struggle as well as growing anger at the presence of foreign troops in the country.

President Bazoum is from the country’s ethnic Arab minority and was seen by some as having foreign origins, Dr Ajala told the BBC.

“This did not sit well within the military circle, which is predominantly composed of the larger ethnic groups,” the expert has written.

Dr. Ajala also said that the transfer of French troops to Niger after they were expelled from Mali last year and the siting of US and French drone bases in the country became increasingly difficult for some in the Nigerien military.

David Kampmann from BBC Monitoring also said that there had been reports that the man at the helm of the coup, Gen Abdourahmane Tchiani, was about to be replaced by Mr. Bazoum as head of the presidential guard as part of reforms to the security apparatus.

He then pre-empted this move by ousting the president. But these are unconfirmed rumors, as Mr. Kampmann points out.


By Admin

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