The location of president Bazoum, a key western ally in combating Islamism militancy in West Africa, is currently unknown.
The military has taken over national TV, announcing the dissolution of the constitution, suspension of all institutions, and closure of the country’s borders. The military has urged foreign partners not to interfere and imposed a night curfew until further notice.
This instability piles onto the existing crises Niger faces, with two ongoing Islamism insurgencies and its history of coups and attempted coups since gaining independence from France in 1960. The coup comes at a time when neighbouring nations mail and Burkina Faso having experienced similar upheavals have aligned with Russia’s Wagner group, shifting away from their former colonial power, France.