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mercredi, février 21, 2024

‘We continue to mobilise’- Thousands fill Niamey streets to support coup, demand withdrawal of French troops

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« Thousands of protesters gathered in Niamey to support the leaders of the coup and to demand the French troops to leave the country, Sunday.
Speakers addressed the crowd from the stage, and military was deployed to guarantee the security.
« We never thought the people of Niger were going to respond that way. We never thought the people of Niger were going to be so tight-knit like that. You’ve seen what’s happening, millions of people came out to say no, it’s unheard of. For the first time, we experienced several coups d’etat but never this kind of mobilisation. Today you saw the people who spent the night here and you see those who are there now. » said a protester.
The protester emphasised that this indicates the mobilisation is not losing strength but growing stronger.
On July 26, a military coup took place in Niger, resulting in the removal of President Mohamed Bazoum and the installation of General Abdourahamane Tchiani, the leader of the presidential guard, as the new head of state. The military rulers announced also the cancelation of military agreements with France
In response to the coup, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) imposed sanctions and warned of potential military action. Subsequently, there were extensive protests in support of the military in the streets of Niamey. Neighbouring countries Mali and Burkina Faso cautioned against any intervention by other West African nations, arguing that it would be considered a ‘declaration of war’ against them as well. This event marks the fifth coup in Niger since the country gained independence from France in 1960 and is the seventh military takeover to occur in West and Central Africa within a span of three years. »

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