Niamey, Jul 28 (EFE) – General Abdourahmane Tchiani, head of Niger’s presidential guard, on Friday, declared himself the leader of the transitional government after his military unit overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum.
The 62-year-old made the announcement on Niger’s state television channel saying he was now the president of the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP).
In his speech, Tchiani criticized the policies of the deposed and democratically elected former president in the realms of security, economy and social issues saying they were “incoherent and ineffective”.
In security matters, he denounced that Bazoum had failed to collaborate with neighboring nations Burkina Faso and Mali, which are both governed by a military junta after two coups, given that all three nations share the common threat of an increase in extremist groups operating in the area.
Tchiani said that all international and human rights would be respected, and urged his partners to give “all the necessary support” to the CNSP “at this crucial stage”, as well as to trust the Nigerien forces in their work to maintain national unity and integrity.
Niger’s ousted President on Thursday called for the protection of the hard-won “democratic achievements” after the military announced a coup on national TV.
Coup leaders have held Bazoum in the Presidential Palace since early on Wednesday.
“The hard-won gains will be safeguarded,” Bazoum said on Twitter. “All Nigerians who love democracy and freedom would want this.”
The international community, including the European Union, African Union, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has broadly condemned Tchiani’s takeover.
The chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said the coup was a “total betrayal” of duty in a post on Twitter, while the EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell said he was “very concerned about current events in Niamey.”
“The EU condemns any attempts to destabilize the democracy and threaten the stability of Niger,” Borrell added.EFE