Gepubliceerd op 14 september 2023

Intelligence Brief: Niger

Who’s involved:

The CNSP (National Council for the Safeguard for the Homeland), the Nigerien presidential guard, the Nigerien Army, the government of Niger, France, the UN, the US, Jihadists, Russia, Wagner mercenaries.

What happened?

  • On 26/07/2023 the presidential guard of Niger organized a coup d’etat by removing president Bazoum from power. So far this has gone without bloodshed, but Bazoum and his government have sworn that they will not accept this take-over and have called on the citizens of Niger to protest the coup d’etat. This is the third coup attempt against Bazoum in Niger, a country that is on the frontline of the war against jihadist terrorism. Historically supported by France and the West, Niger has been one of the few countries in the region that seemed stable enough to host Western soldiers who are deployed to fight against the Jihadist terrorist groups in Niger and in neighboring countries.
  •  In the week of 24/07/2023 US special forces organized a counter-terrorism exercise with special forces from Niger.
  • On 27/07/2023 the US, the UN and France called on the presidential guard to end the coup and return power to the elected government. The US has invested a lot of money and training into Niger to bolster its security system and is putting a lot of pressure on the presidential guard to withdraw their troops from the presidential palace.
  • In a broadcasted statement on TV on 27/07/2023 the presidential guard claimed that all borders were closed and that the constitution was suspended in an attempt to “end this regime” and to end the “declining state of our security and social system.”
  •  In a written statement on 27/07/2023 the army of Niger officially declared themselves aligned with the presidential guard that has organized itself under the new name National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP).


  •  It is unclear if the CNSP will try to remove French, American, German and other foreign troops in the country. Such a move could pave the way for Russian mercenary group Wagner to come in and take control of the security situation of the country if invited by the CNSP.
  •   It is likely that the US, France and the UN will refuse to leave the country as they have denounced the coup and have invested time, money and personnel into Niger for the past decade in their fight against jihadist terrorism in the Sahel. It is more likely that the US will strike a security deal with the CNSP if it becomes clear that the elected government will not be put back into place.
  •   France is the major importer of uranium from Niger, which is rich in uranium, and is not likely to want to lose its connection to the country. France has condemned the coup d’etat but it is unlikely that it will militarily intervene at this moment.
  • Whether or not the international community will accept the legitimacy of the coup d’etat, it is likely that the UN, ECOWAS and the US and France will all want to stay in the country in a bid to ensure more safety and security for the region.
  • If the CNSP tells the US, France, Germany and others to leave the country, as did Mali in 2022, by international standards they should leave the country without question. Countries like China and Russia will undoubtedly push for this in the UN Security Council since these countries have their own interests in the region and wouldn’t mind seeing the West leave.
  • There is a small likelihood of Niger falling into a civil war. The jihadist armed groups that operate in the border regions will undoubtedly take advantage of the situation and try to take control of more regions of the country. It is for this reason that the Niger Army has said it will support the coup to avoid bloodshed and to keep the fight against terrorism going.
  • The influence of Russia and the Wagner group on the Sahel region has expanded in the last few years after military coup d’etats in Burkina Faso and Mali. The military regimes have asked for Russia/Wagner to come into their countries to help with fighting the jihadist groups. This has resulted in numerous violations of human rights amongst the civilian populations of these countries by Wagner and Wagner aligned troops. It is unclear yet if the new regime in Niger will ask Russia/Wagner for support or if they will stay loyal to agreements made with Western countries.


It is a volatile and developing situation in Niger. The coup d’etat is only a few days old as of this writing. It is yet unclear what the consequences of this takeover will be and any speculation without proof is unwise. However, it is very likely that this coup attempt will not benefit the security situation in Niger. With its first elected president in years being ousted it is probable that the Nigerien citizenry will not accept this situation. Protests and unrest are likely to follow the coming days. The new regime will then have to show its intent on keeping the peace and security of the country through either a crackdown on protests, reinstating the president and the constitution or through announcing new elections. This will also make it clear for the West if they can or cannot make a security deal with the new regime or that the West will pull out of Niger and leave it to the regime, and possibly Russia/Wagner, to take care of the jihadist threat.

For more in-depth Sitreps, analyses, or bespoke advice on the aviation security and safety concerns regarding this region, or other areas across the globe, please contact Dyami at +31 30 207 2120 or through our webpage.

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