“Perestroika” à la Nigérien: The Reasons for the Military Coup of 2023

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Associate Professor; Vice-Head of Laboratory for Sociopolitical Destabilization Risks Monitoring; Research Fellow
National Research University Higher School of Economics in Saint Petersburg
National Research University Higher School of Economics
Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: Russian Federation,
Occupation: Visiting Lecturer, Department of Political Science and International Affairs
Affiliation: HSE University St. Petersburg
Address: Russian Federation, St. Petersburg
Journal nameAsia and Africa Today
EditionIssue 11

The article is devoted to the study of the events that transpired in Niger in July 2023, which led to the overthrow of President Mohamed Bazum by members of his own guard, under the command of Abdrahman Tchiani.

The fieldwork and interview materials that the authors gathered in Niger in September 2023 are used in this article. It is demonstrated that an escalated intra-elite conflict that started to fester as soon as Mohamed Bazum was elected president in 2021 was the cause of the military coup. The opposition, led by the Democratic and Republican Renewal Party and the Niger Democratic Movement for an African Federation, immediately denounced the results of the February 2021 presidential election as being falsified and staged large-scale demonstrations.

Then, in March 2021, before the inauguration in Niger, an unsuccessful coup attempt was made. A disagreement between Mohamed Bazum and his predecessor, Mahamadou Issoufou, inside the ruling Party for Democracy and Socialism may have become apparent by the middle of 2023. The Nigerian security forces, led by Abdrahman Tchiani, the head of the Presidential Guard, and Salifou Modi, the former and current Chief of the General Staff, as well as Abdou Issa, who opposed the current president, spoke the final word.

Keywordsmilitary coup, Niger, Mohamed Bazoum, elite conflict, ECOWAS
Publication date23.11.2023
Number of characters24633
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