Head of the presidential guard since 2011, Abdourahamane Tchiani is a controversial general in the Nigerien army. He came up through the ranks and was promoted under President Mahamadou Issoufou, to whom he is said to be a “loyalist among loyalists”, according to experts within Niger’s security apparatus.
When Issoufou was in power, the presidential guard was “particularly spoiled”, says a well-placed source – which Issoufou hoped would protect him against any attempts at a coup d’état in a country that had already seen four since independence in 1960. The guard consists of approximately 700 well-equipped and trained troops, and about 20 armoured vehicles.
When he handed power over to Mohamed Bazoum in 2021, Issoufou asked to retain his core circle of securocrats, including Tchiani. This request complicated army management for his successor, who was torn between the desire to make his
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