Niger: Former Prime Minister Hama Amadou Speaks on the July 26th Coup

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Hama Amadou, the former Prime Minister and ex-President of the National Assembly of Niger, a staunch opposition figure to Presidents Mahamadou Issoufou and Mohamed Bazoum, recently shared his insights on the situation in his homeland in a 30-minute interview with the online media platform Opinion Internationale. The interview, aired on September 2nd, 2023, comes slightly over a month after the July 26th coup.

Having been in France since 2021 for health reasons, Hama Amadou now expresses his willingness to return to Niger. In his view, following the coup, “the situation (in Niamey) has evolved in a direction that holds better prospects for the opposition.”

He believes that the Algerian proposal for a six-month transition is the most promising approach to date, one that should have been adopted by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which he criticizes for its “excessive” stance and “extremely malicious” sanctions against Nigerians.

Addressing the military threat, he argues on Opinion Internationale that “waging war against a country under the pretext that it must necessarily practice democracy is not the solution. What a people truly need is good governance.” According to him, France is making a “serious mistake” by pursuing a “rigid and bellicose” approach. He contends that what Niger needs is a new constitution that guarantees both alternation of power and checks and balances.

As for whether he might lead a transition, he firmly asserts that it is not his role. Regarding the detention of Mohamed Bazoum at the presidency, Hama Amadou recalls his own experience of incarceration. When questioned about the possibility of the military remaining in power indefinitely, he responds that “it only matters about what they intend to do.”

Hama Amadou’s perspective provides valuable insights into the evolving political landscape of Niger and the complex dynamics at play amid calls for democratic governance and stability in the country.

Soukaina Sghir

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