Reports say thousands of people rallied in support of the coup leaders in Niger on Friday outside of Niamey, the nation’s capital.
During the demonstrations, people chanted “down with France, down with ECOWAS,” a reference to the West African bloc that approved the deployment of a “standby force to restore constitutional order” in Niger on Thursday.
Supporters of General Abdourahamane Tiani, the new dictator of Niger, waved Russian and Niger flags and sang in his name.
We will force the French to go!” One protester, Aziz Rabeh Ali, a student union member, asserted that ECOWAS was not independent and was under the influence of France.
On July 26, members of Mohamed Bazoum’s security overthrew the elected president of Niger.
France, the former colonial power and a strong ally of Bazoum, is among the countries that have opposed the decision, along with other West African nations, the United Nations, and Western countries.