Shocking: Unforeseen Coup Strikes Niger President Out of nowhere!

The unexpected coup against Niger's president, Mohamed Bazoum, on July 26, 2023, has sent shockwaves across the globe. Sylvain Itté, French ambassador to Niger, shares his insights into the events.

Unpredictability as the Norm

According to Itté, the Directorate-General for External Security (DGSE) was blindsided by the coup, largely due to their primary focus on counter-terrorism. The direct involvement of the former president, Issoufou, was an unforeseen variable that took everyone by surprise. Further complicating matters was Bazoum's increasing disconnection from Niger society, further alienating him from the realities of the country.

The Oil Connection

One of the possible motivations for the coup could be traced back to the oil trade, which was under Chinese control at the time. Bazoum had grand plans for Niger's oil sector. He aimed to increase oil revenue through a pipeline connecting production sites to the Port of Cotonou in Benin. Additionally, a cabinet meeting was due on the day of the coup to discuss the creation of a new oil company, with the Niger government holding the majority stake. These plans put several vested interests at risk.

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Russian Intervention?

While 's role in the coup is not clear, the country has been known to conduct information against in Niger. Their strategy thrives on creating disorder, without any intent of permanent establishment in Africa, except for the extraction of gold and diamonds.

The Embassy Attack

The French embassy in Niger was recently besieged by the M62 civil movement, with the incident drawing parallels to the 1979 U.S. embassy attack in . A local police officer, waving a Russian flag, was seen encouraging the crowd. Rocks were hurled at the embassy for nearly two hours, threatening the lives of 70-80 people inside. The situation was brought under control after French President Macron reached out to Mahamadou Issoufou, who managed to persuade the crowd to disperse.

Post-Coup Allegiances

Itté has also aired his concerns about the wavering loyalties of various nations in the aftermath of the coup. The U.S., for instance, prioritised the maintenance of their Agadez base over the release of Bazoum and the restoration of constitutional order. A similar stance was observed among some European countries. Interestingly, some of the first countries to abandon Bazoum were actually the ones who had initially supported him.

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