Even before the July coup that ousted Niger President Mohamed Bazoum, the lucrative businesses of Nigerian businessman Alhaji Dahiru Mangal had begun to falter. He was particularly involved in the oil trade and the transport of pilgrims to Mecca.
Whether President Bazoum's predecessor played a part in the July coup continues to generate considerable speculation in West African capitals. Yet although Issoufou denies any sort of role, his closeness to junta leader Tchiani remains indisputable.
The EU's European External Action Service is working on an array of individual sanctions against the main officers behind the Niger coup from the Conseil National pour la Sauvegarde de la Patrie.
The coup leaders are banking on Zeine's technocratic profile to re-establish contact with international financial backers who have been unsettled by the military takeover. To carry this out, the PM can count on a strong network in several neighbouring capitals.
Concerned about the increasing number of coups in West Africa, the African Union is trying to make its voice heard on the appropriate response to that of Niger. Chaired by Burundi, the volatile Peace and Security Council, which met on 14 August, is against ECOWAS military intervention.
Investigative report published on 10/08/23 at 10.50 GMT - There is no longer a consensus within the West African community and its Western partners on restoring ousted President Mohamed Bazoum to power, an ultimatum that had been imposed on the coup leaders.
Investigative report published on 03/08/2023 at 11h46 - For several days now, the new Nigerien junta has been working to strengthen its ties with its counterparts in neighbouring Mali and Burkina Faso. Official channels have been open since 26 July, but Africa Intelligence can now reveal that initial contacts were made before the putsch, coordinated by former army chief Salifou Modi.
Breaking news published on 28/07/23, 21.00 - Despite General Abdourahamane Tchiani declaring himself head of the CNSP military junta on 28 July, ECOWAS is holding out hope that Mohamed Bazoum will return to power and, alongside Paris and Washington, is counting on Nigerien ex-president Mahamoudou Issoufou's involvement.
ECOWAS member state presidents have held numerous informal consultations since the coup in Niger on 26 July, but are finding it difficult to coordinate their response. Many leaders are at the Russia-Africa summit in St Petersburg, and furthermore, ECOWAS has no clear means of taking action against the coup plotters.
As the new chair of the Economic Community of West African States, the Nigerian president wants to inject fresh energy into the organisation's leadership as it struggles more than ever with military juntas and Islamist militant threats across the region.