In a statement released on Wednesday, Boula stated that the goal of his new Council of Resistance for the Republic (CRR), which has been imprisoned at Mohamed Bazoum’s home since the coup, is to restore the president who has been overthrown.
Rhissa Ag Boula, a former politician and rebel leader in Niger, has started a movement opposing the military government that seized control in a coup on July 26.
This is the first indication of internal opposition to army rule in the strategically significant Sahel nation.
According to a statement released by Boula on Wednesday, the goal of his new Council of Resistance for the Republic (CRR) is to bring back ousted president Mohamed Bazoum, who has been held captive at his home since the takeover, according to Reuters.
According to the statement, Niger was the victim of a tragedy planned by those tasked with keeping it safe.
After the military government rejected the most recent diplomatic mission from the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), diplomatic efforts to undo the coup have stalled, prompting the announcement.
In response to pressure to negotiate before a summit on Thursday where the heads of state from the ECOWAS will discuss the use of force, the coup leaders in Niger on Tuesday refused entry to African and UN envoys.
In a statement, Ag Boula stated that it would make itself available to ECOWAS for any useful purposes and that it supported all international actors working to restore constitutional order in Niger.
Several Nigerien political figures, according to a different CRR member, have joined the organization but are unable to publicly declare their support due to safety concerns.
Ag Boula was a key figure in the 1990s and 2000s Tuareg uprisings, a nomadic ethnic group living in the desert north of Niger. Under Bazoum and his predecessor Mahamadou Issoufou, he was integrated into the government, like many other ex-rebels.
Ag Boula’s statement will worry the coup leaders given his influence among Tuaregs who dominate commerce and politics in much of the vast north, even though the extent of support for the CRR is unclear.
The military government’s ability to maintain control outside of Niamey’s city limits would depend on Tuareg support.
Democratic ECOWAS members like Nigeria desire the restoration of the civilian administration that had been largely successful in containing the Sahel region’s devastation by armed groups with ties to al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS).
On July 26, mutinous soldiers kidnapped Bazoum and took over the government under the pretense that they could protect the country from the violence better.
Many Western nations are shocked by the coup because they considered Niger to be one of the last democratic allies in the area battling the threat of armed groups’ territorial expansion. Niger is important to the global market on a number of fronts, including its 5% share of the world’s uranium supply.
The coup has already resulted in border and airspace closures that have cut off supplies of food and medicine, hindering humanitarian aid in one of the world’s poorest nations