Less than a week later, Wagner commander Yevgeny Prigozhin said that “in the next phase there will be a strong focus on launching expansion in Africa” in a Russian attempt to craft the dream of its African influence that it seeks to, It extends horizontally across the Group of Five Sahel States – G 5 – (Mauritania – Burkina Faso – Chad – Mali – Niger), From Mauritania on the Atlantic coasts in the west, To Eritrea east where the coasts of the Red Sea, Passing through the countries of Sudan and Central Africa , And its vertical extension to the north on the Libyan coast to have access to the warm waters of the southern Mediterranean, To form an inverted letter (T), In a fierce rivalry with France, along its historical colonies.
But Niger remained the knot of the Russians in the manufacture and completion of this map, Due to the large French presence in it, Which made it the center of its operations in Central Africa and the region, Through its establishment of 4 major military bases in it, In addition to the American presence at the five bases, in addition to two sites for security cooperation, More than any country in the western part of the African continent.
Given the strategic importance of Niger for France, especially in the field of uranium mining, There is another reason for the close alliance shown by the man of France, “Mohamed Bazoum”, Which was embodied in his haste to embrace the French forces withdrawing from Mali , Burkina Faso and Central Africa, and high coordination with the French authorities on various issues, especially in the field of security.
The beginning of the coup
Niger witnessed last Wednesday morning, July 26, 2023, A rebellion of members of the Presidential Guard in which they detained the President of Niger, “Mohamed Bazoum ” (in reaction to the dismissal of the commander of the Presidential Guard earlier ), For reformatory reasons and the fulfillment of some demands, Then, late in the evening of the same day, A number of military leaders and soldiers announced on state television the dismissal of President Mohamed Bazoum , He also announced the closure of the country’s borders with its neighbors, the dissolution of the constitution, And the suspension of all the work of institutions in the country, And curfews in the whole country, And this would be the fifth coup in the history of modern Niger.
In a repeated scenario by the military in all their coups against the legislative authority and the civil state, Throughout the history of military coups in the modern era, Thus, the indicator of the worsening of the coup has taken a dangerous dimension on the future of the state and the Sahel and Sahara region , which has not ceased to follow the coup stations.
In the television commercial, Colonel Amadou Abderrahmane , an air force official behind him shows nine uniformed officers from senior members of the National Guard, presidential Guard, Among them is the Deputy Chief of the General Staff, according to the New York Times, ” We, the defence and security forces, We decided to end the system you know,” “This comes in the wake of the continued deterioration of the security situation and economic and social mismanagement ,” he added. He also said that “all the country’s institutions have been suspended.”
But the President of the Council and its members were not announced as of writing this report on the morning of July 28, Which makes the situation even more ambiguous. Amid the circulation of several names that could be behind the coup process, they will be announced later.
In another statement attributed to the military command of the Nigerien Armed Forces composed of the Chief of the General Staff, chiefs of staff of armies, Following a meeting held yesterday, Wednesday, July 26, 2023 , in which it confirmed its accession to the declaration of the removal of the President of the Republic, And that its decision was motivated by the preservation of the physical integrity of the President of the Republic and his family, And to avoid a deadly confrontation between the different forces that may cause a bloodbath , On the one hand, the safety of the population is endangered.
On the other hand, In order to maintain the cohesion of the Nigerien Armed Forces, decided to subscribe to the declaration of the National Council for the Protection of the Fatherland CNSP, The General Staff warned against any external military intervention, whatever its source, would risk serious consequences , As the Authority called, All security and defense forces to continue to focus on their missions and maintain their known combat capability to continue the fight against terrorism and organized crime – according to their statement.
Who are the leaders of the coup:
By declaring the coup and the names reported according to the “New York Times,” There will be three military forces that unite to isolate President Bazoum. It is the Presidential Guard and the National Guard with the Chief of Staff , Thus, there will be strong names that could be at the head of the military council.
Among the officers who will likely not be absent from the membership of the Military Council, The expected announcement – as stated by some observers – the commander of the presidential guard, the powerful general “Omar Chiani”, the mysterious man as he is called, whose name has emerged since the presidential guard moved to besiege the palace, He is one of the most prominent leaders close to President Bazoum, as well as Colonel “Ibrah Amadou Bacharo”, And General “Musa Salah Parmo” – Commander of the Special Forces, And the commander of the National Guard, “Ahmed Seidian,” The name of General Salifu Modi was also mentioned. Former Chief of Staff of the Army, Who was removed by President Bazoum and appointed ambassador recently.
Some observers think that one of two people will head the new military council. Either General Omar Cheibani, commander of the Presidential Guard, Or General Salifu Modi, former Chief of Staff, It seems that the luckiest, as observers have said, is the naming of the former chief of staff, General “Salifu Modi” to be at the head of the ruling military council.
Who is General Salifu Modi ? Born in October 1962, He completed his foundation studies in Niamey, then joined the Military College in Ivory Coast, from which he graduated in 1983. He joined the Nigerian Army after completing his specialized military training in Cameroon , France and Madagascar, He progressed in the military ranks until he reached the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1998, After that, he was appointed commander of the Republican Guard for a period of 10 years, then commander of the staff of the ground forces.
won many national honors, In 2011 he became his country’s military attaché in Germany, In 2018 he was promoted to the rank of general, In 2020, he was appointed Chief of Staff, in 2023 he was dismissed from his post after a visit to Mali, After His request to President Bazoum and the government to increase cooperation with Russia in order to fight terrorism, He was nominated to be his country’s ambassador to the UAE to remove him from the military and political scene in Niger, “Has the man returned to revenge?”
Analysis of the event and its repercussions on Libyan national security
Writings trying to cover the event rolled in. It assumes and discusses the various dimensions and repercussions of it, In doing so, we found that we at the Libyan Center for Security and Military Studies will present an attempt to read the events and record the following:
- It should be noted that, Some analyses go on to estimate France’s loss of an important ally, And for another Francophone country like Burkina Faso, and Mali, and Central Africa, This is in the perception that the coup came as a result of hidden Russian support and coordination , This means the rise of Russia’s growing influence in West and Central Africa at the expense of the French rooster, which is not satisfied with Niger’s uranium mines.
- This does not mean, The absence of an analysis and another contrary opinion denies any possibility of a Russian role in the coup, and that these analyses are only inspired by previous contexts and fiction and nothing more. Because France and its military bases spread on Nigerian territory, In addition to the American military presence in a number of military facilities and bases, They will not allow the existence of other Russian follies in the region, especially since Niger is considered a center for AFRICOM forces in the Sahel and Sahara region . It will not be easy to give it up, And that the exit of the circle of putschists will only hurt in Paris by virtue of the previous association and discipline.
- The collapse of Mohamed Bazoum’s Arab project by continuing to rule Niger for a second term , And the creation of a new role and reality for Niger at the regional and international levels in light of its alliances and coordination with the historical ally France.
- The Libyan border with Niger is exposed to a new security dimension, It carries the omen of exploding dangerous security files , Related to terrorism , the Tuareg file and the files of the Arab tribes, And the files of smuggling, robbery and illegal immigration, which threatens Libyan national security, especially in the south, He emphasizes that Chaos has become Besiege the country ali Along the southern border , perhaps Hurry up Libyan Foreign Ministry To issue Statement Invites in it to the necessity Do not exceed track Democratic in any change Seek it People Niger, For a level guide Worry about the future Relations between Two , prospects which She was you ring to her The Libyan state from its relations with Niger led by Bouazum From which the future of the transport of goods will be determined between Duty Free Zones between Two and promising Libyan investments for Libyan businessmen in Niger.
- Naturally , The possibility of the impact of what happened in Niger on the south of Libya Specifically on the tribe of “Awlad Suleiman”, to which President Bouazum belongs , And the eyes are on knowing their reaction, Because the evidence of close connection is not in doubt, The contribution of the Libyan border to the feeding of large areas of northern Niger with goods and foodstuffs will make them suffer from severe economic and social vulnerability. Especially if we know that a significant part of the businessmen who control the transport and smuggling trade of Niger, They are from the same tribe as President Bouazum.
- noteworthy, The success of this coup will be the fifth coup in the country’s history since independence. But with the difference that it came after the first experience of a peaceful transfer of power, so what happened confirms what is being circulated that the elections are nothing more than a waste of time and a waste of public money, As long as its results are not binding on the military, He emphasizes saying, That the military indeed have political power and influence, And that the people, as usual , are deprived of the will with the presence of the army machine.
- Extreme apprehension and caution of the Chadian authorities about the repercussions and consequences of this coup on Chad and the region in general, The impact of the cross-border identity issue in the Sahel and Saharan countries will be a starting point and a ground for more chaos and unrest that have been separated from the Chadian state. Where she suffered from it again and again , And this will be another danger on the southern Libyan border, for the social bond between the two countries.
Different responses and positions
Internally . After the coupists confirmed their control over the state, And the trend to form an interim government under the influence of a military council, The President of Niger, “Mohamed Bazoum,” confirmed, detained by putschists in Niamey, He refuses to give up the democratic gains that the country has made during the recent period , Bazoum said in a message via the Twitter platform, “The gains made after a long struggle will be preserved, All Nigeriens who love democracy and freedom will be keen on that.”
As announced Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Bazoum, Mr. “Hashim Massoud” in a tweet on Twitter ، himself as interim president of Niger, Calling for a general mobilization against the coup, He appealed to all patriots to confront what he described as a risky adventure for the country.
While many protests came out rejecting the coup and supporting the elected president, but they were directed by the fire of the forces supporting the putschists, On the other hand, demonstrators supporting the army and the coup came out. Some of them stormed the headquarters of the ruling party and burned its contents.
Externally. The United Nations and ECOWAS crossed, its rejection of the coup against the legitimate elected authority, African countries also condemned, In addition to the countries of France, the United States and the European Union, Military coup d’état in Niger, She called for a return to the elected democratic system in the country.
Finally … Events and news are still coming from Niger , In a tug-of-war between the two parties to the conflict, Also , the reactions of the countries of the region rejecting the coup continue, But we believe that this coup will continue on its way to power, Repeating the same scene of military coups that the region is famous for, The reactions shall not have any role in preventing it or standing against it, With waiting and anticipation, To announce the military council and its president in the coming days.