A Northeastern University professor doing research in Niger is sheltering in place in the West African country’s capital of Niamey after mutinous soldiers seized power from the democratically elected president, locked down the borders and closed the airport.
William Miles, professor of political science at Northeastern, was about to wrap up his almost month-long trip to Niger when the country found itself in political turmoil. On July 26, two days before Miles’ scheduled departure, the presidential guard detained Niger’s leader, Mohamed Bazoum, in the presidential palace and announced the end of his administration. “Major surprise,” says Miles, who reached out to Northeastern Global News to tell his story. “Every commentator will tell you that it was not expected.”
Bazoum, democratically elected in 2021, has not formally resigned. The rebels announced the suspension of the constitution and asked foreign governments not to interfere in the internal affairs of the sub-Saharan country.