In an attempt by the Libyan Center for Security and Military Studies to follow up the Niger coup and its repercussions on Libyan national security, In this paper “second” we deal with the latest developments in the events that have become accelerated and dynamic, The most important of which were international interventions, especially by France and America, and foreign statements on Monday rejecting the coup, To the regional intervention by the countries of the region surrounding Niger between supporters of the coup and opponents of it, to the extent that there are those who call for military intervention to restore legitimacy.
This is what ECOWAS Group does, And hand it over to the Niger file to the army leaders and defense ministers of the group countries, And the call for military intervention once and the imposition of sanctions and siege on the leaders of the coup.
All of this we will address in this analytical paper to remove the situation to try to understand the impact of the repercussions of the event on Libyan national security while trying to present a set of proposals to the decision-maker in the executive authority, It may help formulate an appropriate resolution that will keep the country safe from these events.
At the beginning of our conversation and less than two weeks later, He still loves many supporters of the coup and started talking about what happened on Wednesday, July 26 in their country, The former commander of the presidential guard, General Omar Abdul Rahman Tiani, seized power, His overthrow of President Bouzoum justified his security, economic and social failure. In a country that is among the poorest in the world, it is witnessing attacks and frantic activity by terrorist armed groups.
These describe French colonialism as having been perched on their land, And that he sat on the goods of the state and suffered from looting and exploitation, The wealth of the State was not allowed to be reflected on the people of Niger and the State remained described as the poorest.
And that the French claim to protect the Sahel region from terrorist risks and threats did not succeed in making it a point of gain in the balance of its security and military presence in the region, It acknowledged that its security and military strategies in the “Barkhane and Takuba” operations were not accomplished and performed as planned, This constituted a French-European disappointment with the stakes of success and expansion.
After the coup, some features of the approach and thinking of its leaders became clear, The sensitivity of the current situation in Niger and the impact of its repercussions on the countries of the region has become confirmed.
Libya, the northern neighbor of Niger, which will not be immune from these repercussions, Perhaps some peculiarity that links the nature of the relationship between the two countries, It leaves its mark in the circles of the coup effect on neighboring Libya, First, the deposed president, Mohamed Bouazum, is of Libyan origin, Descended from an Arab tribe, the tribe “Awlad Suleiman”, which has a major presence in southern Libya in addition to the central and northern regions, And it has a measure of influence and influence in some of the keys that it possesses, And it is still necessary to stop at it a lot, In addition to a set of dimensions that touch Libya’s national security, It will be related to the contexts and developments of the security, military and economic situation that are likely to hit the state, Which the reality of its difficult living situation, Its population exceeds 25 million, the majority of whom are exhausted by poverty and hunger.
- Incomprehensible intelligence deficiencies
Before talking about the developments and outcomes of events in Niger and their impact on the Libyan state, It should be noted the importance of knowing the truth of the French and Western intelligence assessment of the possibility of another coup in the State of Niger. After (7) coups in the last three years, Neighboring countries included Kamali, Burkina Faso and Central Africa, France’s inability to comprehend its shock at being expelled from its former colonies, The French president was counting on Niger to reformulate and implement a new strategy and ambition for the region. and redraw his ambitions in the Sahel region extending from West Africa, Passing through several countries to East Africa, He aspired to be the link in establishing bridges between developed countries and the so-called Global South, Niger was therefore the largest remaining stronghold in the Sahel region, And Africa in general with (5) military bases, And the presence of a president who is classified as his strongest ally in the region, With security and economic spheres of influence at the state levels, it is surprising.
And noteworthy, That the American side is also actively present on the ground and with a level of strategic arrangement and vision, which was reflected in its recent strategy for sub-Saharan countries, In addition to the ten-year strategy for Libya, Which contained its articles to focus on the importance of southern Libya, and its extensions and rebounds, All this raises astonishment and extreme confusion in analyzing the intelligence behavior of Western countries towards estimating the Niger coup. Especially that Wagner arrows and rifles surround the state of Niger from the south of Libya, And from Central Africa, Mali and Burkina Faso on the other hand.
In addition to that, Another important factor is the behavior of President Mohamed Bouazum and his political positions, Perhaps the clearest of these is the vote of Niger in the United Nations in favor of condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine, And who was a rare voice in Africa tweeted outside a lot of African positions, This made him hostile to Russian foreign policies.
Not to mention that, The failed of the deposed president, “Mohamed Bouazum”, to avoid the coup, And he is aware of the great international competition that the region is witnessing, And the messages of danger that surrounded him because he is from an ethnic minority and an Arab component, And being surrounded by powerful generals in the army establishment, And the institution of the presidential guard have origins from the Hausa tribes that represent more than 55% of the population, And from other tribes with African roots, such as Bazerma, Fallata and others, A clear and clear indication of a significant miscalculation of the magnitude of the risks, of the President, his advisers and his chosen government team, It reflects incomprehensible negligence and recklessness.
- Initial and quick steps for coup leaders
Once again before we proceed to the statement of threats to Libyan national security, We review the last steps of the coup leaders to the moment of writing this report, Immediately after the announcement of the coup, General “Abdul Rahman Tinay” and his companions were keen to announce a series of measures expressing their identity and orientations, they were:
immediately and from the first hours, The putschists were keen to get the support of the army early, And communicate with its leaders, After a statement issued one day after the coup, they received the support of the army, And signed by the Chief of Staff, “Abdo Siddiq Issa”, to the effect that the Chief of Staff stands by the “Defense and Security” forces to avoid fighting and to preserve the cohesion of the country, Which means full endorsement, Which reflects the same coup that exists mainly among the army leaderships, And that communication and discussion may be formal, And that the arrangement and briefing are in advance and tight with some army leaders, The coup group immediately announced the suspension of the work of institutions, the closure of the country’s borders and the imposition of curfews, This was followed by the announcement of the suspension of the activities of political parties in the country until further notice.
Then, in a short time, some of the orientations of the coup team towards the international community began to emerge, Where it issued a series of decisions directed against the State of France, Among the most prominent of which is the termination of the military agreements signed with it, which allowed France to deploy 1500 French troops in the country, Within the framework of what is known as the war on terror.
And the events are accelerated, Niger’s new leaders later issued a resolution aimed again at France. Stipulates the suspension of the broadcast of Radio France Internationale and the channel “France 24” in Niger, They are the two most important French media outlets, They had a wide popular base in Niger.
As the new military rulers of Niger decided, withdrawing the country’s ambassadors to France and the United States, In addition to Nigeria and Togo, The coup leaders did not explain the background to this decision, No decision has been made regarding the ambassadors of these countries in Niger.
What is remarkable here is what the deputy head of the military council, General Salifu Modi, has done, From a tour led by him as part of a high-level military delegation to Mali and Burkina Faso, During which he met with the military leaders of the two countries, and just returning from an unprecedented visit to Russia, To attend the Russia-Africa Summit.
“We can say that we have received very strong support from Burkina Faso. Because, as you know, a number of ECOWAS countries have decided to impose harsh sanctions on Niger.”
In reference to his point of view of the northern neighbor Libya – which extends between them a border of (350 km), He said very clearly, “I discussed with Captain Traoré all possible situations. Because we don’t want Niger to become a new Libya, And we will unite our efforts so that this does not happen, And we decided to do together a range of activities, in order to stand up to this situation”, Finally, the coup leader “Abdul Rahman Tiani” announced changes in the army leadership, where he was appointed as a new chief of staff and deputy to the army, He also chose a new commander of the ground forces, deputy and secretary-general of the Ministry of Defense – as quoted by an Al Jazeera correspondent a few days ago, As the coup leaders at the time of writing this paper closed the airspace of Niger, They threatened to retaliate for any possible military attack – as stated in a statement.
- Libyan Reactions to Coup
In what is noted from the initial reactions of officials in Libya, the discrepancy is observed between the speed of reactions in the Presidential Council and the Government of National Unity on the one hand without any clear coordination between the two, and not to be exposed to the coup event by the military leadership or the Libyan government in the eastern region with any statement or comment, which is considered a level of appreciation for each of them with the reality of the coup and its motives and supporters, as the President of the Libyan Presidential Council refused to change the regime In Niger, describing what is happening as an operation outside the law and legitimacy, he called on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to “secure the safety of President Mohamed Bazoum, his family, the president and members of the government” – according to a statement issued by the president, while the head of the Government of National Unity, “Abdelhamid Dabaiba”, stressed that the military movements in Niger constitute a “source of concern” for neighboring countries, and that it is necessary to put an immediate end to these military movements that undermine the security and stability of the region, and are a source of concern for all Neighboring countries and the international community as a whole, the army command of the eastern region did not say or comment, but sent some of its troops, affiliated with the “Tariq bin Ziyad” battalion, to the southern border without official comment on the nature of the mission.
- The coup and threats to Libyan national security
We are not exaggerating if we say that Libyan national security is exposed to a number of challenges and great risks that may plague the level of state cohesion and unity in the east, west and south. The flaming situation in the Southern Ring countries threatens security, military, social and economic disasters looming over the State.
Whereas, as declared, The deadline granted by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) under the chairmanship of Nigerian President Paula Tinobu-ECOWAS to the leaders of the Niger coup expires at the end of Sunday, August 6, The chiefs of staff of the group announced that they had already prepared a plan for military intervention in Niger as a last resort in the event that President Mohamed Bouazum was not returned to the post from which he was removed at the end of last month.
She stated that Niger’s military junta has a week to restore the country’s constitutional order or face the possible use of force, It has already imposed sanctions on the leaders of the military coup and cut off electricity supplies from neighboring Nigeria, In addition to closing borders, This means that the goods no longer arrive in the “geographically isolated” country.
Based on the above, The situation does not accept any slowdown from officials and decision makers in the Libyan state, To put plans and quick and decisive actions to catch up with what may hit the pillars of Libyan national security, With regard to the part of the coup d’état taking place in Niger, we note the following:
- Perhaps the first point of concern that results from the repercussions of the coup is the fear that southern Libya will be a theater and a base for military operations among the Wagner elements, who are reportedly deployed in southern Libya and supporting the coup leaders in Niger, and among French troops stationed in northern Niger.
- repercussions of possible armed conflict within Niger, It pushes the displacement of large numbers to escape the furnace of war to the south of Libya as a result of security fragility, And because of the existence of social extensions of many Arab, Tebu, Tuareg and Hausa components within the Libyan territory, And the future social and demographic impact it poses that threatens Libyan national security
- Fear of employing the terrorism file and its impact in the region and its extension to Libyan territory, By exploiting the environment that may be available to them by terrorist groups as a result of any escalation resulting from the development of events in Niger, Thus, southern Libya will be an arena for free movement for these terrorist groups, taking advantage of the soft security environment in the region.
In addition to the loss of control over gold and uranium mines, the chaos in northern Niger may widen the circle of chaos. The emergence of lines, circles and groups of terrorist gangs that seek to take advantage of the security vacuum that may arise to obtain open sources of funding for their project.
- Fear of doubling the number of illegal immigration applicants, And the impact of its influx on the Libyan state, Which causes its inability to pursue this file, In addition to the impact of European pressure to find solutions that allow opening the settlement file in southern Libya under programs and plans that have been prepared in advance and promoted for some time.
- The explosion of the file of smuggling goods and commodities and supplies and basic between the regions of southern Libya and the regions of northern Niger, and the possibility of a major conflict over supply lines “smuggling”, and the probability of its effect and function, Some parties, including the Awlad Slimane tribe, may be working to control the supply market in favor of demanding the return of their son, President Bouazum, to power.
- The impact of the chaos that Niger may experience, The inability of the state’s security agencies to deal with the file of drug trafficking and smuggling, And the impact of this on the doubling of the quantities entering the Libyan territory, And the difficulty of covering the vast areas of the Libyan desert, which is teeming with cross-border smuggling gangs, It operates along international smuggling routes and corridors.
- The possibility that southern Libya will become the scene of the emergence of an armed Arab opposition similar to the Chadian opposition, The fragile Libyan environment is exploited by the presence of social incubators that have their extensions, connections and interests in the Nigerian depth, In addition to appreciating the return of the Tabawi opposition, which had a previous formation in the territory of Niger, With the opening of the scene as well to the Tarqi given, which has an extension between the Libyan and Niger territories, What could result is the region’s entry into chaos and the remarketing of separatist projects again on Libyan soil.
- Estimating that the Whig Border Air Base will be employed, In what is expected of conflicts that may take place in the region by French or American forces on the one hand, Or the Russian Wagner forces on the other.
- The measures, precautions and strict stances of the Algerian state towards what is happening in Niger, And its total rejection of any military interference in Niger because of the safety of its national security – according to what was announced by its foreign ministry, This may include tightening the border closure and deploying troops to their border areas, Because of its fear of potential threats affecting its territorial integrity that may reflect negatively on the Libyan state, for the weakness of its security and military institutions, It may lead to the transfer of risk direction to Libya’s soft security zone.
- Fear that the Chadian opposition present on Libyan territory will try to regroup, and exploiting the influence of the Wagner forces and their desire to overthrow regimes dependent on American and French influence, As well as the echo of what is happening in Niger to repeat its advance to Chadian territory in order to seize power, And what could affect the course of relations between Chad and Libya, which are already witnessing a state of apprehension and suspicion by the Chadian authorities, Regarding the failure of the Libyan authorities to take clear positions towards the presence of the Chadian opposition on its territory.
- The decline in the presence of Arab tribes at the level of the countries of the region, As happened in the collapse of Hemedti and the Janjaweed project to seize power in Sudan, And the dismissal of the president of Arab origin, Mohamed Bouazum, after the coup against him, It may be exploited by parties and regional and international destinations in making the region sink into chaos and plunging Chad into this spiral, Which contains a significant number of the Arab component, Which is linked by some understandings and alliances with the Qur’an component, and of which large segments are organized in the face of the authority and rule of the Zaghawa, This could be reflected on the national security of the Libyan state and will have serious repercussions for the extension of these components and their spread on Libyan territory.
Based on the above , One of the most important requirements of Libyan national security at the procedural level, Quick attention to the seriousness of the repercussions of the coup in Niger and the armed conflict in Sudan, And to assess the danger of the transfer of circles of influence of what is happening inside Libya, so it is necessary to pay attention to:
1- The need to urgently communicate with the actors in the Awlad Suleiman tribe, And the approach in their follow-up to the developments of the scene in Niger, And confined them to checking on the deposed president because of the nature of his belonging to the tribe, It is not in the interest of Libyan national security for the tribe to take any steps unilaterally without coordination with the Libyan state, It is the duty of the state to take it upon itself to follow up on the issue of the safety of President Mohamed Bouazum, In a manner that does not conflict with the requirements of national security.
2 – Libyan national security assessments are supposed to be in the form of recommendations and policies submitted to the government and political decision-makers to assess how to balance statements and positions and not to rush to antagonize the new coup leaders. Which may lead to a loss in positions in the future, Especially if we know that public opinion in all Sahel countries is now against France and its ruling agents – according to what he declares.
3 – Accompaniment, follow-up and study of the positions of the neighboring countries of Niger is very important, The position of the State of Algeria rejecting any military intervention in the Nigerien affairs, A position that has its reasons and reasons that Algeria sees to protect its national security as well as the security of sub-Saharan countries, What is mentioned in its statement, in particular, with the word “we warn” is an expression and indication of an advanced position crystallized by the Algerian authority. It seems to be in line with the Russian state’s position on its position on the coup.
4. One of the requirements of Libyan national security, Autism in attitudes about what happened in Niger, And that the unified position gives strength and utmost importance to the Libyan role, This makes speeding up the arrangement and completion of the file of unifying security and military institutions under the leadership of one internationally recognized government very important. To not allow the transfer of the international conflict of the major powers to Libyan territory.
Accordingly … events in sub-Saharan Africa must be followed, Especially the repercussions of the Niger coup by the security, military and intelligence agencies are closely and continuously followed, And have an in-depth pause on the course of events, To provide recommendations, estimates and realistic intelligence analyzes, For decision-makers in the Libyan state to come up with a unified and clear position in protecting its national security.