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Niger coup general Tiani appears on TV as transitional council president

Niger coup general Tiani appears on TV as transitional council president
Torched cars sit in front of the headquarters of the Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism, which was damaged during anti-government protests in Niamey, Niger, 29 July 2023. Mutinous soldiers calling themselves the 'National Council for the Safeguarding of the Country' claimed to have overthrown President Mohamed Bazoum, Niger's democratically elected president, in a televised address on 26 July evening. Protesters went out on 27 July in the streets of Niamey to support mutinous soldiers and demand the end of foreign intervention in the country. They also set fire to the building housing the headquarters of the ousted president's party. EPA-EFE/ISSIFOU DJIBO

The head of Niger's presidential guard, General Abdourahamane Tiani, appeared on Friday on state television as the president of the transitional council that seized power in a coup on Wednesday.

The guard instigated the coup on Wednesday and detained President Mohamed Bazoum in the presidential palace. A group of soldiers who later appeared on state television said they had stripped Bazoum of power.

Colonel Amadou Abdramane, who announced the coup, said the military had acted in response to deteriorating security and bad governance.

Abdourahamane Tiani reiterated that soldiers seized power due to the worsening security. He also criticized the non-cooperation with military governments in Burkina Faso and Mali in the fight against insurgencies in the region.

Insecurity has remained a problem since Bazoum was elected in 2021 as jihadists that took root in Mali in 2012 gained ground, killing thousands and displacing over 6 million across the Sahel.

Niger is a key ally of Western countries against Islamist insurgencies in West Africa and a number of foreign troops are based there, including French and American.

(Reporting by Bate Felix and Anait Miridzhanian; editing by John Stonestreet and Angus MacSwan)

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