Several Niger artists express support for new military leadership

In the aftermath of a military takeover in Niger last month, with the participation of certain artists aligning with the new junta, the capital has witnessed the emergence of paintings depicting the coup leader, national flags, and symbols of unity.

Niger’s military officers, who ousted President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26, have disregarded appeals from the United Nations, regional entities, and Western nations to restore him to power. Instead, they have organized rallies drawing thousands of participants that condemn Western influence while extolling Russia.

In a peaceful corner of Niamey, a small painting collective diligently worked under the shelter of trees to create a portrait of coup leader Abdouharamane Tiani within the outline of Niger.

Their efforts also included incorporating depictions of protesters and inspirational quotes throughout the artwork.

According to artist Ali Garba, he and his fellow colleagues aimed to contribute to the nation’s unity through their creative endeavors.

“All citizens must make their contribution,” he said. “Without social cohesion, there is no nation.”

The West African armies have warned of potential military intervention against the new regime if it fails to reinstate civilian governance. Artist Boubacar Djiboby depicted this scenario as missiles descending upon a dark desert landscape, alongside an image of bound hands breaking free.

There has been minimal public evidence of opposition to the coup, even though a former rebel leader and politician declared a movement to reinstate constitutional order last week.

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