Mohamed Bazoum, born on January 1, 1960, in the village of Bilabrin, French Niger, is a Nigerien politician who served as the 10th President of Niger from 2021 to 2023. He assumed office in April 2021 after winning the 2020–21 presidential election and surviving a failed coup d'état attempt. However, his presidency was cut short when he was ousted in the 2023 Nigerien coup d'état by members of the presidential guard and the armed forces led by Abdourahamane Tchiani.
Before becoming president, Bazoum had a distinguished political career. He served as the president of the Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS-Tarayya). He also held key positions as a minister of Foreign Affairs, serving from 1995 to 1996 and again from 2011 to 2016. Bazoum briefly held the position of minister of State at the Presidency in 2016 but resigned to focus on running for the 2020–21 presidential election. He won the second round of the presidential election with 55.67% of the vote, defeating former president Mahamane Ousmane.
Bazoum is a member of the Arab minority Ouled Slimane people, making him the first Arab president in Niger's history. His early life saw him attend primary school in Goure and graduate from Amadou-Kouran-Daga High School in Zinder. He pursued higher education in philosophy at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Senegal from 1979 to 1984, where he completed his master's degree in political and moral philosophy.
After completing his degrees, Bazoum became a teacher at provincial high schools for six years. He was actively involved in trade unions, joining the National Union of Teachers of Niger (SNEN) and later the executive committee of the Trade Union of Workers of Niger (USTN). His political career began when he became a founding member of the Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism in 1990, alongside Mahamadou Issoufou.
Bazoum held various government positions, including Secretary of State for Cooperation and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. He also served as a Member of Parliament and was involved in opposition activities, such as filing a censure motion against Prime Minister Hama Amadou. He played a prominent role in the opposition's response to President Mamadou Tandja's ousting by a military coup in 2010.
Following the election of Mahamadou Issoufou as president in 2011, Bazoum took on leadership roles in the PNDS and government positions, including Minister of State at the Presidency. His presidential campaign in 2020–21 focused on addressing demographic challenges, improving education and gender equality, enhancing security, and tackling corruption.
However, his presidency faced an abrupt end in July 2023 when he was overthrown by the military coup led by General Abdourahamane Tchiani. Despite being detained, Bazoum refused to resign and called for international assistance to restore constitutional order. He maintained contact with world leaders and officials during his detention.
In his post-presidential phase, Bazoum faced prosecution for "high treason" and "undermining the country's security." His family also experienced difficult living conditions. Throughout this challenging period, Bazoum continued to communicate with the international community, emphasizing the importance of restoring constitutional order in Niger.
DATE OF BIRTH: 1ST JANUARY, 1960
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