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Demonstrators gather in support of the putschist soldiers in Niamey, Niger.

REUTERS/Balima Boureima

Niger, Niger burning bright


Supporters of Niger’s junta – which overthrew democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum last week – took to the streets of the capital, Niamey, on Sunday, waving Russian flags and denouncing France, its former colonial power. Protesters destroyed a plaque bearing the words “Embassy of France in Niger” and replaced it with Nigerien and Russian flags, while others set the tricolore ablaze.

What got protesters burning mad? Over the weekend, France and the EU joined the US in suspending aid to Niger, demanding that Bazoum be reinstated and order restored. In 2021, France provided 97 million euros in development and military aid, while the EU pledged 40 million euros to help train and equip Niger’s armed forces.

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