BY NEWS DESK, AUGUST 09, 2023 | 02:30 PM
Rhissa Ag Boula, a former rebel leader and politician from Niger, has announced the formation of the Council of Resistance for the Republic (CRR), a political movement aimed at reinstating ousted President Mohamed Bazoum.
In a statement released on Wednesday, he expressed the movement's commitment to backing global initiatives focused on reestablishing constitutional governance in Niger.
This marks the initial instance of internal opposition against the military coup that occurred in July.
A declaration from the leader of the rebellion states, "Niger has endured violence from those entrusted with the duty of safeguarding it."
This proclamation coincides with a period during which diplomatic endeavors to resolve the military coup seem to have reached an impasse.
Niger's military junta has declined to welcome the recent delegation of diplomats.
Military administrations in neighboring nations like Mali and Burkina Faso, supportive of the coup, have urged the United Nations to prohibit any employment of military action in Niger.
The coup leaders have prevented diplomats from the African Union, the United Nations, and the ECOWAS group from entering Niger. This move is their effort to withstand pressure to engage in negotiations prior to the ECOWAS summit scheduled for Thursday, during which the possibility of employing military force is anticipated to be discussed.
The CRR rebel group, as stated by Ag Boula, will collaborate with ECOWAS and other international stakeholders to facilitate the reestablishment of a functional government in Niger.
Ag Boula pledged to formally engage with the ECOWAS and harness its capabilities across all fronts.
Who is AG Boula
Rhissa Ag Boula played a significant role in the uprisings of the 1990s and 2000s among the Buzaye tribe in the northern desert regions of Niger.
Similar to other former rebels, he was integrated into the administrations of Presidents Bazoum and his predecessor Mahamadou Issoufou.
While the extent of support for the CRR remains unclear, Ag Boula's declaration raises apprehension among Niger's coup leaders due to his influence among the Buzaye, who hold sway over politics and business in much of northern Niger.
Blinken discusses with Bazoum US Secretary of State Antony Blinken conversed with the ousted president of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum, regarding the visit of US diplomat Victoria Nuland to Niger.
The US Department of State stated that "the two individuals deliberated on the Assistant Secretary of State's visit to Niamey, and the secretary reaffirmed the ongoing commitment of the United States to assist in the restoration of democracy, a functional government, and a constitution in Niger.
The secretary also reiterated the utmost significance of the health and safety of President Bazoum and his family."
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