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Before Niger, several recent coups in the Sahel

Before Niger, several recent coups in the Sahel
Supporters of mutinous soldiers demonstrate in Niamey, Niger, on 27 July 2023.   -  
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Sam Mednick/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.


The Sahel region has experienced several coups since August 2020 in countries plagued by jihadist violence, before the current one in Niger.

After a day of tension on Wednesday in Niamey, putschist soldiers announced in the evening on national television that they had overthrown the democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum, in power since 2021. They justified this coup d'etat by "the continuous deterioration of the security situation" in Niger.

The president, sequestered in his official residence, and his government, however, said Thursday still represent the legitimate authorities of the country.

The junta, which brings together all the corps of the army, the gendarmerie, and the police, suspended the institutions, closed the land and air borders, and established a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. (9 p.m. to 4 a.m. GMT ).

Mali: two coups in 9 months

On August 18, 2020, Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta was overthrown after several months of political crisis. On October 5, a transitional government was formed, supposed to return power to civilians within 18 months.

But on May 24, 2021, the military arrested the President and the Prime Minister after the appointment of a new transitional government which displeased them. Colonel Assimi Goïta was invested in June as transitional president.

France withdraws its troops from the country in the summer of 2022, where public opinion is increasingly hostile to it. In June 2023, Malians approve with 97% of the votes a draft new constitution, promulgated in July.

Its detractors describe it as tailor-made for keeping the junta in power beyond the presidential election scheduled for February 2024, despite its initial commitment to handing over the place to civilians after the elections.

Burkina Faso: two putsches in 8 months

On January 24, 2022, soldiers in uniform announced on public television that they had seized power and ousted President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré. Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba is sworn in as president on February 16.

On the evening of September 30, Damiba was in turn removed from his post by the military, in favor of Captain Ibrahim Traoré. Demonstrators attack several symbols of the French presence in the country.

Traoré is invested as transitional president until a presidential election scheduled for July 2024, supposed to allow a return of civilians to power. At the beginning of 2023, he obtains the departure of French troops and approaches Russia and Mali.