Don’t expect Mohamed Bazoum to relay the latest happenings in Bamako and Ouagadougou, or on Russia’s social networks. This former philosophy student at the University of Dakar and current Head of State of Niger since 2 April 2021 is a clear-sighted man who is careful not to underestimate an enemy whose territorial hold on the region continues to grow.
No leniency for coup plotters
On Sunday 7 May, seven national guards from Niger were killed when a mine exploded in Samira, in the so-called tri-border area: the terrorists who had laid the mine were from Burkina Faso.
But don’t expect him to show any leniency towards the officers who carried out the coup. Bazoum spent his former life as a socialist activist fighting against military regimes, and it’s not at his age – 63 – that he’s going to trade in his convictions as a democrat and his abhorrence of the ideologues of indeterminate power to give up what makes Niger unique today: the only Sahelo-Saharan state run by a civilian at the heart of a khaki belt stretching from Nouakchott to Khartoum.
There's more to this story
Get unlimited access to our exclusive journalism and features today. Our award-winning team of correspondents and editors report from over 54 African countries, from Cape Town to Cairo, from Abidjan to Abuja to Addis Ababa. Africa. Unlocked.
Already a a subscriber Sign In