Niger’s “politics of transition seem to be built on sand”: Catholic Priest on Country Nine Months after Military Coup

Credit: Agenzia Fides

A Catholic Missionary Priest ministering in Niger’s Catholic Archdiocese of Niamey has weighed in on the West African nation’s situation nine months after the July 26 military coup.

In his report that the Information service of Propaganda Fide, Agenzia Fides, published on Tuesday, April 9, Fr. Mauro Armanino observes that Niger’s “politics of transition seem to be built on sand.”

“Perhaps the crucial point of the transition of these months lies in the difficulty of finding the core of a political project that shapes the present,” Fr. Armanino says.

He adds, referring to the politics of transition, “In order not to betray the principle of ‘reality’, it should focus on the ‘common good’, namely justice for the poor.”

After the ousting of Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum from power in July 2023, General Abdourahmane Tchiani, who temporarily assumed power reportedly pledged to facilitate the transition to civilian rule within three years.


General Tchiani said that the principles for the transition would be decided within 30 days at a dialogue to be hosted by the junta.

Sharing about the situation in the landlocked West African nation, Fr. Armanino says, “The country's tricolor flags, initially carried by taxis, have gradually disappeared.”

“Even the crowds of people in the stadium in the first few days and the protests on the streets have gradually given way to the monotony of everyday life,” the member of the Society of African Missions (SMA) adds. 

He goes on to report that the opening of borders and the lifting of sanctions by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in February “have not brought the relief that the poor population and economic entrepreneurs were waiting for.”

The Catholic Priest shares about foreign military in the country, saying, “After the expulsion of the French military and the discretion of the few remaining foreign civilians, it has now also called on the American military to withdraw.”

More in Africa

The displaced persons in the Sahel region “is in the millions and thousands of farmers are struggling to survive,” Fr. Armanino says, adding, “The feared famine, which unfortunately has also been ‘institutionalized’ for years, affects a large part of the population.”

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.