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Niger: Women bang pots during ‘make noise’ protest French troops presence in front of Niamey airbase

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Dozens of women in Niger gathered in front of the 101 Squadron airbase in Niamey on Wednesday to protest and show support for Niger’s defence and security forces. They also demanded the withdrawal of French troops stationed at the base.

Footage depicts women waving Niger flags and creating noise by banging pots. Organisers called on protesters to take objects from kitchens to generate noise as sign of dissidence.

Ousmane Naomi, one of the protest organisers, stated, « We are here to convey to France that times have changed. They must respect us and acknowledge our importance. »

On July 26, the military takeover ousted President Mohamed Bazoum and installed General Abdourahamane Tchiani, the leader of the presidential guard, as head of state.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) imposed sanctions and threatened military action, while the United States, the European Union, Russia and international groups condemned the action.

However, massive protests in support of the military emerged on the streets of Niamey. Neighbouring countries, Mali and Burkina Faso cautioned against any intervention by other West African nations, warning that it would be a ‘declaration of war’ against them too.

It marks the fifth coup in Niger since gaining independence from France in 1960, and it is the seventh military takeover to occur in West and Central Africa within three years.

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