The former rebel leader launches a resistance movement in Niger and wants the president back

The former rebel leader launches a resistance movement in Niger and wants the president back
Former rebel leader Raisa Ag Bola opposes the coup in Niger, photo from 2011

NOS Newsan average

Almost two weeks after the coup in Niger, an influential politician launched a resistance movement in the West African country. Former Tuareg leader and former minister Raisa Ag Bola announced the Council of Resistance for the Republic (CRR), an anti-coup movement that wants the return of the democratically elected President Bazoum as the country’s leader.

“Niger is a victim of a tragedy orchestrated by people charged with protecting the country,” Ag Bola said in a statement circulated online today. Bzoum was dismissed on July 26 by the commander of his presidential guard, with the support of the army.

He wrote in an opinion piece in the Washington Post last week that he has been held hostage in the presidential palace ever since. Today, his party, the PNDS-Tarayya Party, provided an update on his status in a press release. Bazoum and his family will be held in his home in “cruel” and “inhumane” conditions. For example, the family is said to be cut off from water and electricity, there is no access for doctors and food is running out.

The House of Representatives of Risa Ag Bola wants Bazoum back in power quickly, using “all means necessary to end this bogus practice of questioning people’s decisions by corrupt and irresponsible military personnel.”


With the new Ag Bola movement, which many politicians are said to have joined, the risk of internal conflict in Niger is growing. Ag Bola is known to enjoy great influence among the Tuareg, who control business and political life in the north of the country. Without their support, the junta would be able to control the difficult territory outside the capital, Niamey.

As a rebel leader at the turn of the century, Ag Bola played an important role in the revolts of the nomadic population group against the government of Niger. At that time, the Tuareg demanded more funds for social and economic development in northern Niger.

Nearly 30,000 Nigerians gathered in the country’s largest stadium last Sunday

Since the July 26 coup, international pressure has been placed on Niger’s military leadership to reinstate deposed President Bazoum. The ECOWAS West African alliance had threatened military action if the coup was not reversed by Tuesday.

The junta did not respond and closed the airspace over Niger. Tomorrow West African countries will discuss the situation in neighboring Nigeria again. Algeria has previously spoken out strongly against any form of military intervention.

Niger’s military junta refuses to talk to mediators from the United Nations, African Union and ECOWAS. In its letter, the military administration refused the visit “for security reasons in this dangerous atmosphere.”

The diplomats had wanted to visit Niger yesterday, similar to the US Deputy Secretary of State who visited Niamey on Monday.

Visiting from Mali and Burkina Faso

The appointment of a new Prime Minister for Niger was announced on Monday on national radio

There is also much at stake in Niger for the West. For a long time, the West African country was seen as relatively democratic and therefore considered a reliable ally in the fight against Islamist rebels in the Sahel region. Thousands of American and Western European military personnel were active in Niger until the coup. What their future in the country looks like is uncertain.

Rice and canned food

His ministry announced today that US Secretary of State Blinken spoke by phone with ousted President Bazoum yesterday.

Blinken stressed that the United States is committed to “restoring democratic and constitutional order” in Niger. Deputy Secretary Nuland was not allowed to see Bazoum on Monday when asked.

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