Factbox: Who is Niger’s new leader, Abdourahamane Tiani?
NIAMEY — General Abdourahamane Tiani, the commander of Niger’s presidential guard, was appointed head of state on Friday by a governing council set up by military forces that ousted President Mohammed Bazoum.
Here are five facts about him:
Tiani is from Filingue, in the Nigerien region of Tillaberi, which borders Mali.
Rise to elite unit
The 62-year-old decorated general and former military attache at Niger’s embassy in Germany has led the elite presidential guard unit since 2011.
He was the first officer on site when a French UTA flight crashed near Bilma in northern Niger in 1989, killing all 170 people on board, following a suitcase bomb explosion. He was decorated for having secured the crash site.
Fight against contraband
He also served as head of a battalion in Agadez and led military operations in the Niger desert against contraband and drug traffickers.
Explanation for coup
In a statement on state television on Friday, Tiani asked “the technical and financial partners and friends of Niger to understand the specific situation of our country and provide all necessary support to help it overcome the challenges it faces”.
Reiterating that soldiers had seized power because of worsening security in the country, Tiani said: “We cannot continue with the same approaches proposed so far, as it risks witnessing the gradual and inevitable disappearance of our nation”.