Head of Nigerien presidential guard Tchiani declares himself new leader after coup

Head of Nigerien presidential guard Tchiani declares himself new leader after coup

Coup was staged due to ‘deteriorating security situation,’ says Gen. Abdourahmane Tchiani

By Aurore Bonny

DOUALA, Cameroon (AA) - Gen. Abdourahmane Tchiani, the head of Niger’s presidential guard, appeared on national television on Friday and declared himself the new leader of the country after a coup.

Tchiani said the coup was staged due to the “deteriorating security situation” in the West African country.

His statement came a day after Gen. Abdou Sidikou Issa, the Nigerian armed forces chief, endorsed the mutineers’ actions, saying he wanted to “avoid a deadly confrontation between the various forces.”

Earlier this week, a group of soldiers calling themselves the National Council for the Safeguarding of the Country (CNSP) delivered a statement on Nigerien state television shortly after detaining President Mohamed Bazoum, saying they took the step due to the “deteriorating security situation and bad governance.”

Bazoum was elected in 2021 in Niger’s first democratic power transition since it gained independence from French colonial rule in 1960.

In a Twitter post, he said that democracy would prevail in the country and the people would protect their “hard-won” democratic gains.

The US, UN, EU, France and others have voiced support for Bazoum, calling for his immediate release.

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