28 Jul 2023

Niger was one of the few democracies left in the Sahel belt which stretches across the continent

But now that the army has seized power, there are concerns over what this means for the troubled region. Indeed, from Mali in the west to Sudan in the east, a whole swathe of Africa is now run by the military. Niger's President Mohamed Bazoum - a key Western ally in the fight against Islamist militants - was defiant after soldiers announced a coup on Wednesday. But he has been detained, the army chief has backed military rule, and it isn't clear who is really in charge. Former colonial power France and the US have military bases in the uranium-rich country, and both were quick to condemn the coup (1/3 of uranium used by France comes from Niger...) There are also concerns that Niger's new leadership could move away from its Western allies and closer to Russia. If it does, it would follow the path of two of its neighbours - Burkina Faso and Mali - which have both pivoted towards Moscow since recent military coups of their own. Source: Reuters, image by FT


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