Head of Niger’s presidential guard, Abdourahmane Tchiani, has named himself head of a transitional government in the West African country, two days after his unit overthrew democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum.
He made the announcement on Friday on state-run television, saying he was the “president of the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland”.
The 62-year-old general also said the intervention had been necessary to avoid “the gradual and inevitable demise” of the country.
He said that while Bazoum had sought to convince people that “all is going well… the harsh reality (is) a pile of dead, displaced, humiliation and frustration”.
He remains a close ally of former President Mahamadou Issoufou – the politician who led the country until 2021.