On Sunday, Niger’s Constitutional Court confirmed Mohamed Bazoum won the presidential election after his opponent said corruption was involved. Meanwhile, the situation remains volatile in the border region on the coast. At least forty people were killed in Sunday’s attack.
Mohamed Bazoum succeeds Mohamedou Issoufou, who has completed the two legal terms as president. Bazoum is seen as Yusufu’s right-hand man.
The Constitutional Court approved the final results of the second round of the elections, with Bazoum receiving 55.66 percent of the vote and Othman’s lawyer 44.34 percent, according to President Buba, two lawyers. Bazum said that Bazum had garnered more votes and would be the new president of Niger from April 2.
Bazum’s rival, Mahman Usami, rejected the result after the election, declaring him winning with 50.3 percent of the vote. Shortly after the Election Commission announced the election result in late February, violent protests erupted in several cities across the country for two days. Two people were killed, many were injured, and hundreds of people were arrested.
Bazoum became the tenth president of Niger, a former French colony that had been independent since 1960. Five out of ten presidents were military men who rose to power in a series of coups between 1974 and 2010.
An attack on villages on the border with Mali
Meanwhile, things remain unruly in the border region on the coast, and the change of power does not seem to make a difference. At least 40 people were killed on Sunday after an armed group stormed several villages on the border with Mali. The current government reports this. It was not clear who was behind the attack. A government spokesman said soldiers were sent to the Tahoua region to repel the attackers.
Armed groups have been active for some time in Niger and the countries bordering the Sahel. Some pledged allegiance to ISIS and others to Al Qaeda. The government has little control over desert areas outside of the cities, as the pressure on fertile land and water will increase in the coming years as the population grows. Jihadists and criminal networks, like people smugglers, abuse this.
In the past two years, more than 2.6 million people have fled the Sahel: 1.8 million internally displaced people, and 845,000 people have fled to neighboring countries.