By decree issued Wednesday, Niger’s junta leader named civilians to the roles of government secretary-general and Cabinet director, as well as a member of the military as vice president.
Former second deputy secretary-general of the government Mahamane Roufai Laouali has been appointed secretary-general, succeeding Kandine Adam, while Soumana Boubacar, a teacher-researcher, has been appointed chief of staff to the president.
The nominations were made by General Abdourahamane Tchiani, President of the African Union.
The name of the organisation that deposed President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26 is the National Council for the Protection of the Country.
Bazoum’s former army chief of staff and ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Gen. Salifou Modi, is now the junta’s vice president.
He was not formally present in Niger, but the president of neighbouring Mali introduced him as such during his visit to the Malian transitional military authorities on Wednesday.
On the same day, Niger’s current second-in-command paid a visit to the Burkina Faso junta.
His trips occurred in the aftermath of Burkina Faso and Mali’s united support for the Niger coup, but also as a gathering of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) chiefs of staff convened in Abuja, Nigeria, to address the issue.
Following a Sunday session, the West African bloc voted to penalise Niger and set the junta a seven-day deadline to free and reinstall Bazoum, who was legally elected in 2021. It also threatened to resort to force.
On the eve of the country’s Independence Day, which falls on Aug. 3, General Tchiani spoke of ECOWAS’s “contemptuous and bellicose” attitude, refusing “to give in to any threats, wherever they may come from,” and rejecting any interference in Niger’s internal affairs.