Niger coup: Here are some facts about the key leaders of the junta

On Monday, July 26, 2023, Niger saw a transition from democratic rule to military rule.

The country’s second democratically elected president, Mohamed Bazoum was ousted from office by a group of soldiers.

The Presidential Guard and Senior officers of the Defence and Security Forces (FDS) formed a group called the National Council for the Safeguarding of the Homeland (CNSP). The junta in a televised broadcast, announced the seizure of power and launched a coup. The recent Niger coup becomes the fifth the country has experienced with the first dating back to 1996.

In this report, Fact-Check Ghana presents some facts that you need to know about the known leaders of the National Council for the Safeguarding of the Homeland (CNSP).

Brigadier General Abdourahmane Tchiani- Chairman of the CNSP

Gen. Abdourahmane Tchiani led the military takeover and seizure of the presidential palace.

Before he began his political career in the early 1990s, Tchiani wore many hats from a secondary school teacher to a trade unionist.

Brigadier General Abdourahmane Tchiani | Photo: Le Sahel

In 2011, he was appointed as the commander of the group in charge of the President’s safety- the Presidential Guard.

According to some media sources, he blocked a coup attempt by a military group to seize the presidential palace in the country in 2021. This was days prior to the swearing-in of Mohamed Bazoum.

 He also served in various military operations in his over 40-year military career.

  1. He served in the United Nation’s peacekeeping operations in Cote D’Ivoire, the Darfur region of Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  2. He also served in an Ecowas force in Cote D’Ivoire
  3. He was also a member of the Multinational Joint Task Force consisting of troops from Niger, Chad, Nigeria and Cameroon against the militant insurgent group, Boko Haram.

He declared himself the leader of the CNSP and has been named the head of Niger’s new military government.

Divisional General Salifou Modi-Deputy Chairman of the CNSP

Div. Gen. Salifou Modi is a Divisional General of the Niger Army. He became Chief of Staff following the dismissal of the then Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Ahmed Mohammed in 2020.

General Salifou Modi | Photo:

From 2010 to 2011, Gen. Modi was a member of the Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy, a junta that staged a coup in Niger in 2010. He later served as Niger’s military attache in Germany until 2020.

In June 2023, he was appointed as Niger’s Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.

He has been named vice president of Niger following the military takeover.

Colonel-Major Amadou Abdramane- Spokesperson of the CNSP

Col. Major Amadou Abdramane has served as spokesperson of the junta since the Niger coup. In a televised address, he announced the overthrow of Mohamed Bazoum.

Colonel-Major Amadou Abdramane | Photo: Wikipedia

He is a Nigerien Airforce Colonel and participated in the installation of Abdourahmane Tchiani as the head of Niger’s military government. There is very little record of his career in the military.

Divisional  General Abdou Sidikou Issa- Armed Forces Chief

Div. Gen. Abdou Sidikou Issa was also a member of the multinational force that began operations against Boko Haram. He served as the Inspector General of the Army and the Gendarmerie. Additionally, he held other positions in the military including the Commander of the National Guard of Niger.

Divisional  General Abdou Sidikou Issa | Photo: Anadolu Ajansi

He was appointed as Chief of Staff in April 2023 to replace Div. Gen. Salifou Modi.

Subsequently, he declared allegiance to the junta.

In August 2023, he was dismissed by the military junta as the Chief of Staff and replaced by General Moussa Salaou Barmou, the former head of the Nigerien Special Forces.

Brigadier General Moussa Salaou Barmou

Brig. Gen. Moussa Salaou Barmou is perhaps the most prominent figure in the recent Niger coup.

He was appointed as the Chief of Staff on August 5, 2023. He has previously served as the Chief of Special Operations Forces in Niger and was trained in the USA at National Defense University and Fort Benning courtesy of the U.S. Army.

Brigadier General Moussa Salaou Barmou | Photo: Wall Street

He has been a close ally of the US military in the fight against the Islamic State(IS), Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram. Moreso, he has been a pivotal character in diplomatic negotiations and discussions between Niger and the U.S.

Brigadier General Mohamed Toumba

Brigadier Mohamed Toumba is a member of the National Council for the Safeguarding of the Homeland. He played a key role in the Niger coup and was subsequently named the Minister of State, Minister of the Interior, Public Security and Territorial Administration.

Brigadier General Mohamed Toumba | Photo: Le Sahel

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