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Niger: Junta appoints Lamine Zeine as prime minister

August 8, 2023

The new premier once served as finance minister under former President Mamadou Tandja who was also ousted in a military coup in 2010. Zeine now faces the tough challenge of forming a new administration in Niger.

Ali Lamine Zeine / Niger 2008
Niger's new prime minister Ali Mahaman Lamine ZeineImage: J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo/picture alliance

Coup leaders in Niger have named Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine, the country's new prime minister.

Zeine will replace Mahamadou Ouhoumoudou, who was in Europe when the army staged a coup on July 26.

"The President of the National Council for the Safeguarding of the Homeland, Head of State, decrees. Article 1. Mr. Lamine Zeine Ali Mahaman is appointed Prime Minister," Amadou Abdramane, Niger's military spokesman, read in a statement on Monday evening.

Zeine previously served as Niger's cabinet director and finance minister. He is expected to lead consultations for the formation of a new government.

Niger's junta names new prime minister

Who is Lamine Zeine?

Lamine Zeine Ali Mahaman, 58, was born in Zinder, Niger's second most populous city after the capital Niamey.

He previously held the position of Niger's Minister of Economy and Finance from November 2002 to February 2010 under the government of former president Mamadou Tandja.

In 2010, the army briefly placed Zeine and the rest of Tandja's cabinet under house arrest after a coup.

He currently works as an economist for the African Development Bank in Chad.

According to the privately-owned ActuNiger news website, Zeine has worked for the African Development Bank in Chad, Ivory Coast, and Gabon in recent years.

Ali Lamine Zeine / Niger 2008
Ali Lamine Zeine previously served as Nigerien's finance ministerImage: Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

Junta makes more appointments

The junta further named Col Ibro Amadou Bachirou, the junta leader's private chief of staff, and Lt Col Habibou Assoumane as the commander of the presidential guard.

Brigadier General Amadou Didilli was appointed head of the country's High Authority for Peace Consolidation (HACP). In addition, Brigadier General Abou Tague Mahamadou was named the inspector general of the army and the national gendarmerie.

General Abdourahamane Tchiani, who declared himself the leader of Niger, previously held the position of head of the presidential guard.

Niger's junta leader General Abdourahmane Tiani addressing supporters.
Junta leader General Abdourahmane Tiani declared himself president of NigerImage: Mahamadou Hamidou/REUTERS

Tiani, with the military's support, staged a coup in the vast West African country last month. He has since detained President Mohamed Bazoum in the presidential palace despite regional and international calls for Bazoum's release.

The West African regional bloc, ECOWAS, is set to hold an emergency summit on Thursday in Nigeria to address the political crisis in Niger after the junta ignored its seven-day ultimatum to cede power.

Edited by: Chrispin Mwakideu