Niamey, Jul 30 (EFE).- Thousands of people flooded streets in Niger’s capital on Sunday in support of a recent coup by a military junta that overthrew a democratically elected president.
On Wednesday, a military junta overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum, who has been held by members of the army since then.
Gen Abdourahmane Tchiani on Friday declared himself the leader of the transitional government saying the policies of the deposed president in the realms of security, economy and social issues were “incoherent and ineffective”.
Protesters waved Russian flags and chanted slogans slamming France, the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas), European Union and the African Union.
EFE witnessed how demonstrators gathered in Niamey’s Place de la Concertation, in front of the National Assembly, accessing the gathering from different parts of the city.
During the march, participants waved Niger flags alongside Russian ones and chanted slogans such as “Down with France,” “Barkhane out,” “We don’t care about Ecowas, the European Union and the African Union!”
Another of the slogans chanted during the march was “Arrest the former dignitaries so that they return the stolen millions”.
During the rally, all access roads to the French and US embassies were closed.
France has around 1,500 military personnel based in the West African country as part of an anti-terrorist Operation Barkhane.
Ecowas is currently holding its summit in Nigeria Sunday to discuss the events that unraveled in Niger earlier this week.
Niger coup leaders said that Ecowas was planning to approve a “plan of aggression against Niger” and “an imminent military intervention in Niamey.”
The statement which was read out on state TV by junta spokesperson Colonel Amadou Abdramane recalled African nations of the military junta’s “firm determination to defend our homeland.”
Although the military junta banned all demonstrations on Thursday after the headquarters of the ousted president’s party was violently ransacked, it authorized Sunday’s march in support of the new government, dubbed the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP).
All institutions and borders have been shuttered and a night curfew is in place across Niger until further notice.
Niger is the latest West African country to be taken over by a military junta, following military coups in Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso between 2020 and 2022. EFE