In a development occurring almost a fortnight after the military seized control of Niger’s leadership, the individuals behind the coup designated Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine, a former economy minister, as the country’s new prime minister.
Late on Monday evening, a spokesperson for the military junta unveiled this announcement on television.
Lamine Zeine previously held the position of economy and finance minister for numerous years within the cabinet of former president Mamadou Tandja, who was deposed in 2010. More recently, he worked as an economist for the African Development Bank in Chad, as a Nigerian media outlet reported.
Towards the close of July, the military removed democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum from office and suspended the constitution in a nation inhabited by 26 million people.
Under Bazoum’s leadership, Niger had stood as one of the final strategic allies of Western powers in the fight against the expansion of Islamist militants within the Sahel region.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) had issued a deadline for the coup instigators to reinstate Bazoum, which expired over the weekend.
The ultimatum warned that, otherwise, ECOWAS would consider implementing measures, potentially including the use of force.
In the upcoming days, the prime ministers of ECOWAS member states are scheduled to convene in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, on Thursday to deliberate on the next course of action.