Niger: Bazoum Mohamed will be sworn into office today in a special security context

Mohamed Bazoum’s inauguration comes in a tense context, as his election is still contested by the opposition, a coup attempt failed on Tuesday night, and the country has seen the deadliest terrorist attacks in recent years in the last two weeks.
The new democratically elected president of Niger, Bazoum Mohamed, will be inaugurated this Friday, April 2 in Niamey. The investiture will take place under high security and political tension, never before seen in Niger.
In view of the latest events, security is at a premium, with an impressive array of Presidential Guard, police and national guard around the Mahatma Gandhi conference center, the venue for the inauguration of the new head of state.
According to the protocol services, thirteen heads of state are expected in Niamey. Also, to prevent any traffic jam in the city center, the municipality warns road users that traffic will be heavily disrupted on the axis from the airport to the city center, through the expressway, the Palace of Congress, to the presidential villas of the Council of the Agreement. On the perimeter of the first bridge and the second interchange, traffic will be completely closed to users.
Today’s ceremony is historic in more ways than one, according to observers, in that it consecrates the democratic alternation in Niger. This is the first time in 60 years of independence that an elected president has passed the torch to another democratically elected president.
As soon as he is installed in his chair as president, Mohamed Bazoum will have to manage three major crises. First, political, as the opposition presidential candidate, Mahamane Ousmane, continues to claim victory. This situation could have a lasting effect on the country’s political life. On March 25, the 53 opposition members of parliament boycotted the first parliamentary session.
Second, Niger has experienced an unprecedented outbreak of violence in recent weeks. More than 200 civilians were massacred in two terrorist attacks in the regions of Tillabéry and Tahoua. This is a major challenge for Mohamed Bazoum, who was the architect of Niger’s security policy under President Mahamadou Issoufou.
Finally, there is the military question. The attempted coup at dawn on Wednesday brought back old memories. Since its independence, Niger has already experienced four putsches
‘‘Niger’s outgoing president Mahamadou Issoufou addressed his last speech to his compatriots on national radio and television last night. After thanking them for the confidence that his people have placed in him over the past ten years, he spoke for the first time about the attempted coup: It is, without a doubt, a desperate attempt to take power by force from those who have won it at the ballot box. Unfortunately, there is a compact minority of coup plotters in their midst who raise the flag against the law, who claim arbitration above the sovereign people… These criminals, and their internal and external sponsors will be sought, identified and punished, in accordance with the law’’

About Geraldine Boechat 1735 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia