Niger general Abdourahamane Tiani declares himself president on state TV
After a military takeover, General Abdourahamane Tiani was named the new leader of Niger, the state television reported on Friday.
The chief of the Presidential Guard has been named "president of the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland," a statement said, with elected President Mohamed Bazoum detained by army putschists since Wednesday morning.
The head of Niger's presidential guard, General Abdourahamane Tiani, on Friday, appeared on state television to defend this week's military coup, reiterating that the soldiers in the country had acted to safeguard national security.
Tiani restated that soldiers had seized power due to the worsening security. He also criticized the lack of "genuine collaboration" with military governments in Mali and Burkina Faso in the fight against insurgencies.
"The harsh reality of insecurity in Niger, experienced by our defence forces and hardworking populations, with its toll of deaths, displacement, humiliation, and frustration, reminds us on a daily basis of this stark reality," Tiani said.
"What sense lies in the security approach against terrorism that excludes any genuine collaboration with Burkina Faso and Mali, even though we share the Liptako-Gourma zone, where most of the terrorist group activities we are fighting against are concentrated," he added.
On Wednesday, the guard detained President Mohamed Bazoum in the presidential palace. Later, a group of officers appeared on state television and said that they had thrown Bazoum out of power.
Wagner group chief hails Niger's military coup
Mercenary group Wagner chief, Yevgeny Prigozhin, hailed Niger's military coup calling it 'good news' and also offered the service of his fighters to bring order.
As per news agency Reuters, a voice message on Telegram app channels associated with Wagner said that though Prigozhin did not claim any involvement in the coup, however, described it as a moment of long-overdue liberation from Western colonisers.
"What happened in Niger is nothing other than the struggle of the people of Niger with their colonisers. With colonisers who are trying to foist their rules of life on them and their conditions and keep them in the state that Africa was in hundreds of years ago," said the message, posted on Thursday evening.
"Today this is effectively gaining their independence. The rest will, without doubt, depend on the citizens of Niger and how effective governance will be, but the main thing is this: they have got rid of the colonisers," the message said.
Niger coup condemned
The country's former colonial power, France and the West African regional bloc ECOWAS called for the immediate release of Niger President Mohamed Bazoum. They further urged for a return to constitutional order.
French President Emmanuel Macron said he was all set to support sanctions against the perpetrators of the "dangerous" coup, after his foreign minister said the power grab did not appear to be definitive.
"This coup d'etat is completely illegitimate," Macron told a news conference in Papua New Guinea.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also said that constitutional order should be restored.
United States Vice President Kamala Harris said that the cooperation with Niger's government was fortuitous on its "continued commitment to democratic standards".
A spokesperson for the US-UN mission released a statement saying that the United States also backs taking action at the United Nations Security Council to de-escalate the situation in Niger.