Niger's Coup Leader General Tchiani: Former UN Peacekeeper Who Seized Control

Niger's Coup Leader General Tchiani: Former UN Peacekeeper Who Seized Control





General Abdourahmane Tiani, also known as Abdourahmane Tchiani or Omar Tchiani, delivered a televised message to Niger’s citizens on July 28, 2023, explaining the motives behind the coup.


President Mohamed Bazoum is currently held captive by his own security forces.

Once engaged in peacekeeping missions within conflict-stricken nations, General Abdourahmane Tchiani has now ignited a significant crisis in West Africa by orchestrating a coup in Niger.


Operating discreetly and largely unfamiliar outside his immediate circle, he previously led Niger’s presidential guard until he emerged from obscurity to overthrow the very leader he was tasked with safeguarding, President Mohamed Bazoum.


Gen Tchiani proclaimed himself as the leader of the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland, the military junta established after his seizure of power on July 26.Meanwhile, his former superior remains under house arrest.


While Mr. Bazoum has sporadic communication with international leaders via telephone, he remains isolated.Gen Tchiani has steadfastly rejected all suggestions for compromise thus far. Although he has rebuffed most international envoys, he did meet with Nigeria’s former central bank governor and former Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi, on Wednesday.


Despite US Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland’s visit to Niger on Monday, she was unable to secure a meeting with the 62-year-old general.

A delegation from the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) was unable to progress beyond the airport.


A planned collaborative mission involving envoys from the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas), African Union (AU), and United Nations (UN), initially scheduled for Wednesday, was postponed by the junta citing an unfavorable time for the meeting.Gen Tchiani is undoubtedly displaying his reputation for obstinacy and reticence.


He was notably absent from the large rally organized by the junta in Niger’s capital, Niamey, on Sunday. Since the coup, he has appeared on television only three times, speaking on two occasions:

first, to introduce himself as Niger’s new leader, and second, to deliver an Independence Day speech.


This might be partly due to his uncertainty about the course of this crisis.


Will Ecowas, of which Niger is a signatory to the good governance and democracy protocol, indeed resort to a military intervention, as it has threatened?Alternatively, will the West African bloc await the gradual impact of sanctions in increasing pressure on the junta, especially considering the substantial political opposition to the military option in Nigeria and some other Ecowas member states?




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