Nigerian Army Invading Niger Republic After Coup? Fact Emerges as Viral Video Circulates

Nigerian Army Invading Niger Republic After Coup? Fact Emerges as Viral Video Circulates

  • Top military officers in Niger Republic ousted President Mohamed Bazoum, and they seem adamant despite outside threats
  • The coup leaders failed to return the government to civilian hands in spite of warnings by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
  • A video posted on social media claimed to show the Nigerian Army in Niger shortly after the country’s July 2023 coup, but that's not the case

Niamey, Niger Republic - On Wednesday, July 26, 2023, a coup d'état occurred in Niger Republic when the country's presidential guard detained the democratically-elected leader, President Mohamed Bazoum.

Presidential guard commander, General Abdourahamane Tchiani, proclaimed himself the leader of the new military junta.

Niger/Niger coup/Niger crisis/Niger coup update
Nigerian Army did not attack Niger. Photo credit: Patrick Meinhardt/AFP For illustration purposes only. Depicted persons has no relationship to events described in this material.
Source: Getty Images

Nigerian army invading Niger after coup?

There have been 13 military coups in Africa in recent years. As a result, the situation in Niger attracted strong international attention.

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Nigeria reacted quickly by cutting off electricity supplies. President Bola Tinubu also has directed the acting governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to slam additional financial sanctions on the French-speaking country.

Not stopping there, Nigeria closed its land borders with Niger, Premium Times reported.

Now, after summits concerning the crisis in Niger, regional leaders have ordered the activation of a standby military force, ready to invade the country should the military continue to hold on to power.

The organisation, ECOWAS, is chaired by the Nigerian president, Bola Tinubu. Apart from Nigeria, 14 other countries make up ECOWAS.

Niger: Misleading video of Nigerian Army

In July, a video was posted on the popular social media app, TikTok, claiming to show Nigerian soldiers were already in Niger.

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In the 66-second clip, soldiers could be seen on a dusty street, with explosions and gunfire discharged. The security forces looked war-ready as they checked the vicinity. At one point, a civilian runs past them with his arms raised, shouting, “we want peace”.

The caption read:

“Nigerian army at Niger.”

The lower part showed a photo of the deposed Bazoum and the Nigerien flag. The video can be found on TikTok here and on Facebook here and here.

But is the depiction correct? A fact-checking platform, Africa Check, scrutinised the video.

Africa Check found that the video does not show the Nigerian army in Niger in July 2023. Rather, it shows a past video shot in Sierra Leone.

The original video was uploaded on the Associated Press (AP) Archive YouTube channel in 2015, but its date is given as February 1998, according to the fact-checking organisation.

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The video’s caption reads:

“Sierra Leone: rebels loyal to old regime still fighting Ecomog.”

It was shot during the Sierra Leone civil war, which happened between March 1991 and January 2002, and it showed ECOMOG officers. ECOMOG is a former West African multilateral armed force established by ECOWAS.

Niger junta's prime minister speaks on transition

Earlier, reported that Niger's military-appointed prime minister, Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine, reiterated that his country is in the process of transition.

Zeine spoke when he visited neighbouring Chad on Tuesday, August 15. There, he met with President Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno.


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