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Daily News Analysis


28th July, 2023 Geography

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An attempted coup in Niger, a West African nation, where mutinous soldiers claimed to have ousted President Mohamed Bazoum.


  • On Thursday, Niger experienced an attempted coup as mutinous soldiers claimed to have ousted President Mohamed Bazoum.
  • President Bazoum was elected in 2021, marking the country's first peaceful, democratic transfer of power since gaining independence from France in 1960.
  • The attempted coup threatens the stability of Africa's Sahel region, which has witnessed multiple coups in recent years, affecting countries like Mali and Burkina Faso.

Rejection of the Coup

  • The Nigerien government strongly condemned the coup attempt, stating that it cannot accept such actions.
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs Hassoumi Massoudou called on all Nigerien democratic patriots to reject the coup and stand up against it.
  • The government demanded the unconditional release of President Bazoum and stated that talks were ongoing.

Reasons for the Coup

  • The mutinous soldiers, calling themselves the National Council for the Safeguarding of the Country, cited reasons such as deteriorating security and poor economic and social governance.
  • They took control of state television and announced the suspension of all institutions, asserting that security forces were managing the situation.
  • The attempted coup was allegedly triggered by President Bazoum's decision to relieve the head of the presidential guard, General Tchiani, from his position 

President Bazoum's Stand

  • According to a source close to the President, he has not and will not resign and is safe in his residence.
  • President Bazoum tweeted that the hard-won achievements will be safeguarded, and he enjoys strong support among the population and political parties.
  • A group of Nigerien political groups condemned the coup, describing it as "suicidal and anti-republican madness."

Implications for the Region

  • The coup poses a significant challenge to efforts by Western countries to stabilize the Sahel region, which faces extremism-linked challenges.
  • Niger was seen as an important partner in the region, but the coup raises concerns about political instability and its potential impact on security cooperation.

International Response

  • The U.S. White House stated that there were no credible indications of involvement by Russia or Wagner (Russian mercenary group) in the coup.
  • The international community closely monitors the situation in Niger and its potential implications on regional security and stability.

About Niger

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  • Niger is a landlocked country located in West Africa. It is bordered by seven countries, including Nigeria, Chad, Algeria, Libya, Benin, Burkina Faso, and Mali.
  • Niger gained independence from France on August 3, 1960, making it one of the earliest African nations to gain sovereignty from colonial rule.
  • The capital of Niger is Niamey, which is also its largest city and serves as the political, economic, and cultural center of the country.

Geography and Climate

  • Niger is predominantly covered by the Sahara Desert, and its landscape comprises a mix of desert, semi-arid regions, and savannahs.
  • The Niger River, one of the country's major water sources, flows through its southwestern regions.
  • Niger experiences a hot and arid climate, with temperatures often reaching extreme highs during the day.
  • The country's climate is characterized by distinct wet and dry seasons.

Demographics and Culture

  • As of the latest data, Niger has a population of approximately 25 million people, making it one of the most populous countries in West Africa.
  • The population of Niger is diverse, with various ethnic groups residing in the country.
  • The Hausa, Djerma-Songhai, Tuareg, and Fulani are some of the major ethnic groups.
  • The official language of Niger is French.
  • However, there are several indigenous languages spoken throughout the country, reflecting its cultural diversity.

Political Landscape

  • Niger operates as a semi-presidential republic, where the President serves as the head of state and the Prime Minister as the head of government.
  • Niger has made progress in its democratic journey, witnessing its first peaceful transfer of power through elections in 2021.

Challenges and Concerns

  • Niger faces security challenges due to the presence of extremist groups linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State in the Sahel region.
  • These groups have carried out attacks, destabilizing the country and the broader region.
  • Niger ranks among the world's poorest countries, facing significant challenges related to poverty, access to education, healthcare, and infrastructure development.

International Relations

  • Niger is an active member of regional organizations such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU).
  • The country receives international assistance and aid from various countries and organizations to address its developmental and humanitarian needs.

Economic Activities

  • Agriculture forms the backbone of Niger's economy, employing a large proportion of the population. The main agricultural products include millet, sorghum, and livestock.
  • Niger has significant uranium reserves, making it one of the world's leading producers of uranium.


Q) Consider the following statements regarding Niger

  1. The official language of Nigeria is Arabic.
  2. The Sahara Desert covers the majority of Nigeria's territory.

Select the correct statements using the codes below

(a)    1 only

(b)   2 only

(c)    Both 1 and 2

(d)   Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: D