Late on 26 July 2023, mutinous military personnel claimed on a national television broadcast that they have taken over Niger’s government and deposed President Mohamed Bazoum. Air force Col. Major Amadou Abdramane, accompanied by nine other military officials, made the declaration several hours after members of the presidential guard detained Bazoum in the presidential palace in the capital Niamey. The soldiers — who are calling themselves the National Council for the Safeguarding of the Homeland (CNSP) — led the coup, citing “the deteriorating security situation and bad governance.” Niger’s constitution and all government institutions have been dissolved. In addition, the military junta closed the country’s air and land borders, and imposed a nightly curfew from 2200 to 0500 local time until further notice. Earlier in the evening, presidential guard troops used live ammunition to disperse hundreds of Bazoum’s supporters who had gathered outside the presidential palace to demand his release. Following the coup, supporters of the new junta took to the streets of Niamey on 27 July and reportedly set fire to vehicles parked outside the headquarters of the ruling Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism.
The Nigerien army chief of staff has since declared that the army will support the CNSP in order to avoid confrontation and further destabilization, although the army appears to have remained loyal to Bazoum up until his ouster. Meanwhile, the foreign minister of Bazoum’s Cabinet has claimed that he is the interim leader of the government. He also claimed Bazoum is still being held in the presidential palace. The junta has issued no further statements since declaring its control of the government.