less than a week later, From the statement of the commander of the Wagner forces, Yevgeny Prigozhin, that ” there will be intense focus in the next stage on launching expansion into Africa, ” in a Russian attempt to create the dream of its African influence, which it seeks to achieve. It extends horizontally across the Group of Five Sahel countries – G5 – (Mauritania – Burkina Faso – Chad – Mali – Niger). From Mauritania on the coasts of the Atlantic to the west, To Eritrea in the east, where the coasts of the Red Sea, Through the countries of Sudan and Central Africa, Its vertical extension is 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 making and completing this map. Because of 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 to France, especially in the field of uranium extraction, There is another reason related to 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 in various issues, especially in the security field.
The beginning of the coup
Last Wednesday morning, July 26, 2023, Niger witnessed A rebellion by members of the Presidential Guard in which they detained the Nigerien President, “Mohammed Bazoum” (in reaction to the dismissal of the commander of the Presidential Guard earlier), For reformist reasons and the realization 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 neighbours, dissolve the constitution, and suspend all the work of institutions in the country, a nationwide curfew, And this would be the fifth coup in the history of modern Niger.
In a repeated scenario of 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 aggravation of the coup has taken on a dangerous dimension for the future of the state and the Sahel and Sahara region, which has not ceased to follow the successive coup stations.
in television advertising, Colonel “Amadou Abd al-Rahman,” an official in the Air Force, came out behind him nine officers in military uniform from the 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 are the defense and security forces,” he said. We decided to end the system you know,” “This comes in the wake of the continued deterioration of the security situation and the economic and social mismanagement,” he added. He also said, “All the country’s institutions have been suspended.”
However, the council’s chairman and members have not been announced as of the writing of this report this morning, July 28. Which makes the situation even more ambiguous. Amidst the circulation of several names that could be behind the coup, they will be announced later.
And in another statement attributed to the military leadership of the Nigerien Armed Forces, consisting of the Chief of the General Staff, chiefs of staff of armies, After a meeting held yesterday, Wednesday, July 26, 2023, in which it confirmed its accession to the declaration of impeachment of the President of the Republic, And that her decision was motivated in terms of preserving the physical integrity of the President of the Republic and his family, In order to avoid a deadly confrontation between the various forces that might 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 dire consequences, As the Authority called, All security and defense forces to continue to focus on their tasks and maintain their well-known combat capability to continue combating 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. are the Presidential Guard and the National Guard with the Chief of Staff, Thus, there will be strong names that can be at the head of the military council.
Among the officers who will likely not be absent from the membership of the Military Council, What is expected to be announced – as stated by some observers – is 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 ruling palace. He is one of the most prominent leaders close to President Bazoum. Likewise, Colonel “Ibrah Amadou Basharo”, 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 most fortunate, according to observers, is the nomination 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 rose through 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, And in 2011 he became a military attache to his country in Germany. In 2018, he was promoted to the rank of Major General. In 2020, he was appointed Chief of Staff. In 2023 he was dismissed from his position after his visit to Mali. And after requesting President Bazoum and the government to increase cooperation with Russia in order to combat terrorism, He was nominated to be his country’s ambassador to the UAE to banish him from the military and political scene in Niger. Did the man return for 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 implications of it, In this regard, we found that we at the Libyan Center for Security and Military Studies will make an attempt to read the events and record the following:
- It should be noted that, Some analyzes 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. Which means the rise of the growing Russian influence in West and Central Africa at the expense of the French rooster, which is not satisfied with the Nigerian uranium mines.
- This does not mean, There is no analysis and opinion of another dissenting, He denies any possibility of a Russian role in the coup. And that these analyzes are only inspired by previous contexts and imagination, and nothing more. Because France and its military bases spread on Nigerian soil, In addition to the American military presence in a number of military facilities and bases, They will not allow the presence of other Russian foolishness 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 forsake it. And that the outgrowth of the circle of revolutionaries will not be affected except in Paris, by virtue of the previous association and discipline.
- The Arab project of Muhammad Bazoum “Boazum” to continue ruling Niger for a second term collapsed. Creating 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 exposure of the Libyan border with Niger to a new security dimension, carries a harbinger of the explosion of dangerous security files, related to terrorism, the Tuareg file, and the files of the Arab tribes, and files of smuggling, militarism and illegal immigration, Which threatens Libyan national security, especially in the south, He confirms that chaos is besieging the country along the southern borders. Perhaps the Libyan Foreign Ministry hastened to issue a statement calling for the necessity of not bypassing the democratic path in any change sought by the Nigerien people. Evidence of the level of concern over the future of relations between the two countries, And the prospects that the Libyan state aspired to from its relations with Niger under the leadership of Boazum, Among them, the future of transporting goods between the free market zones between the two countries will be determined. And promising Libyan investments for Libyan businessmen in Niger.
- Naturally , The possibility of the impact of what happened in Niger on the Libyan south, Specifically on the “Awlad Suleiman” tribe. to which President Bouazum belongs, All eyes are on their reaction. Because the evidence of a close association is not in doubt, Also, the contribution of the Libyan borders to supply 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 considerable part of the businessmen who control the transport and trade of smuggling to Niger, They are from the same tribe as President Boazum.
- noteworthy, The success of this coup will be the fifth coup in the country’s history since independence. But with a difference that it came after the first experience of the peaceful transfer of power. Therefore, 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, confirms the saying, Indeed, the military are the ones with power and political influence. And that the people, as usual, are deprived of their will in the presence of the army machine.
- The Chadian authorities are apprehensive and extremely wary of the repercussions and consequences of this coup on Chad and the region in general. and the impact of the cross-border identity issue in the countries of the Sahel and the Sahara, It will be a springboard and a ground for more chaos and unrest that have always haunted the Chadian state. where she suffered over and over again, This will be another danger on the Libyan southern 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 tendency to form an interim government under the influence of a military council, The President of Niger, “Mohamed Bazoum,” confirmed, held by the putschists in Niamey, He refuses to give up the democratic gains that the country has achieved during the recent period. Bazoum said in a message via the Twitter platform, The gains achieved after a long struggle will be preserved. And all the people of Niger who love democracy and freedom will be keen on that.”
While the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Bazoum government announced, Mr. “Hashem Masoud” in his tweet on Twitter, himself as interim president of Niger, calling for general mobilization against the coup, He appealed to all patriots to confront what he described as an adventure that carries great risks for the country.
While there were many protests rejecting the coup and supporting the elected president, but they were met 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 have expressed their rejection of the coup d’etat of the elected legitimate authority. African countries, in addition to France, the United States and the European Union, have condemned the military coup in Niger, calling for a return to the elected democratic system in the country.
finally .. Events and news are still coming from Niger, in tension and attraction between the two parties to the conflict, and the reactions of the countries in the region that reject the coup continue, but we believe that this coup will continue on its way to power, repeating the same scene of the military coups that the region is famous for, and the reactions do not have Any role in preventing it or standing against it, while waiting and anticipating the announcement of the military council and its president in the coming days.