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Region of Concern: Niger

Written By Iris Hautaniemi Forsberg; Edited by Cameron Munoz, Senior Editor

Date: July 27, 2023

Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum[1]

Event: On July 26, a military coup occurred in Niger, ousting President Mohamed Bazoum from power. In a national television broadcast, a group of soldiers led by Colonel Amadou Abdramane declared that they had removed President Bazoum from power and “Put an end to the regime that you know due to the deteriorating security situation and bad governance." This is the seventh coup in West and Central Africa since 2020 and the fourth in Niger since the country’s independence from France in 1960.[2] Mohamed Bazoum was democratically elected in 2021 and swore to focus on combating poverty and jihadism. Bazoum has been a close ally to many Western states, particularly in the fight against regional Islamist terrorist organizations. Niger’s military also receives training and supplies from France and the United States.[3]

Significance: The military coup is very likely a response to the Islamist terror threat facing the country and a perception of bad governance to counter this threat. The coup will very likely lead to the relocation of US and French troops and affect Niger's counterterrorism efforts. The potential relocation of Western soldiers will also very likely lead to increased influence from other foreign actors willing to cooperate with military governments, such as Russia and their paramilitary group Wagner. Economic and humanitarian support are also likely to be affected, with fewer organizations willing to cooperate with a military government. This will very likely lead to economic setbacks for the Niger population, resulting in famine and illness due to insufficient food levels and clean water. Migration into neighboring countries like Mali and Nigeria is likely, as they continue to deal with their own security problems and large refugee populations. Increasing refugee populations and removing Western troops in the region will likely lead to more challenges in combating terrorism in the whole region.

Recommendations: The military government should engage in talks with the presidential administration to possibly come to an agreement beneficial for both parties. The US, France, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the African Union (AU) should increase pressure on the military government to reinstate the President and engage in talks about the effects this event has on regional security. The US and French militaries should remain present in Niger to combat terrorism to prevent Russia from increasing its presence in the country. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) should expand operations in the region to prepare for possible increasing refugee flows into neighboring countries. The operations by UNHCR should also involve a high level of security considerations, given the precarious situation and the ongoing terrorist threats. The US and Western allies’ intelligence agencies should increase monitoring of African Islamist terrorist groups online that might take advantage of the region's current situation.


[1] Niger by Google Maps

[2] Niger soldiers say President Bazoum's government has been removed, Reuters, July 2023,

[3] Niger soldiers claim to have overthrown president, France 24, July 2023,

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