Supporters of Niger coup rally in capital

Supporters of Niger coup rally in capital

Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani says if an assault were to be undertaken against his leadership, it would not be the walk in the park

By Hamza Kyeyune

KAMPALA, Uganda, (AA) - Thousands of supporters of Niger’s military coup gathered in the capital Niamey on Sunday in support of its leaders.

Jubilation filled the air at the 30,000-seat General Seyni Kountche Stadium as members of the ruling National Council for the Safeguarding of the Country (CNSP) arrived.

Slogans hostile to France and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) were chanted or displayed on placards, including "No to sanctions," "Down with France!" and "Stop military intervention.”

Many of the supporters carried Russian flags and portraits of CNSP leaders. The stadium, named after Seyni Kountche, who led Niger’s first coup d’état in 1974, was almost full.

ECOWAS has threatened to use force if ousted President Mohamed Bazoum is not reinstated. The regional organization indicated on Friday that the "day of intervention has been fixed."

Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani, who heads Niger’s military administration, said Saturday night on television that if an assault were to be undertaken against his leadership, it would not be the walk in the park. He added that he did not want to confiscate power, promising a transition of three years maximum.

There was a failed coup attempt in March 2021, barely 48 hours before the inauguration of Bazoum, a former interior minister. The attack was quickly repelled by presidential guards but signaled the existence of an aim to truncate democracy by some members of the military. ​​​​​​​

Speaking to Anadolu in Kampala, Huthaifa Busuulwa, a university lecturer, said that celebration of the people following the downfall of democratically elected leaders is a manifestation of frustration with the performance of the people in power, who have failed to deliver on their promises. He said that citizens celebrate military intervention in the hope that it will pave the way for a more effective form of civilian government.

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