Niger coup threatens stability in West Africa

By July 28, 2023

Niger (MNN) — Niger’s coup threatens stability in West Africa. It’s the region’s seventh military takeover in the past three years.

Members of the Tuareg people group in Niger.
(Photo courtesy of Andre/Pexels)

“Niger is a strategic location because of the bordering countries: Algeria, Libya, Mali, [and] Nigeria,” World Mission’s Greg Kelley says.

Security forces locked the president down on Wednesday, holding him captive in his home. The mutinous soldiers called their actions a coup, and the army added its support yesterday.

Niger’s government says it will never accept military rule. President Mohamed Bazoum was elected in 2021 in Niger’s first peaceful, democratic transfer of power since its independence from France in 1960.

Coups also took place in neighboring Mali and Burkina Faso in recent years due to Islamist expansion. “These coups create unique opportunities for the Gospel,” Kelley says.

“Historically, there’s been poor leadership [in this region], creating a very unsatisfying feeling in the general population. Poverty, desperation is accentuated,” he continues.

“You have people searching for answers; they’re frustrated with the political leaders; all of a sudden, [they] become more open and receptive to the Gospel.”

Pray that the current power struggle will not destabilize Niger. Help Gospel workers in Niger through World Mission.

“We are empowering indigenous leaders who don’t need a passport. They don’t need a visa, and they’re going village to village sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ,” Kelley says.

Believers may not need documentation, but “they are on the front and need motorcycles; they need vehicles.”



Header image is an orthographic map centered on Niger. (Wikimedia Commons)