[QODLink]
Africa
Key figures in Niger coup
Military commanders who led the coup against President Mamadou Tandja.
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2010 15:22 GMT

Niamey, Niger's capital, was calm a day after dissident soldiers ousted President
Mamadou Tandja and suspended the consitution in the West African nation [AFP]

Below are some facts about the main military figures behind the coup:

 Major Salou Djibo

Though an accomplished soldier, Niger's new military ruler is little known among residents of Niamey.

Djibo, 49, received officer training in Bouake, Ivory Coast, and additional training in Marocco and in China, according to military sources.

He served as a military observer with UN peacekeeping forces in Ivory Coast and also with the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Monuc) force in Congo.

He commanded forces in Niamey at the time of the coup.

He has five children and is of the Djerma-Songhay ethnicity, the second most populous in Niger after Hausa.

 Colonel Djibril Hamidou

Colonel Djibril Hamidou is perhaps the best known figure in the coup, dubbed 'Colonel Pele' for his role as president of the Niger Football Federation.

He was also a key player in the 1999 coup that ousted military leader Colonel Ibrahim Bare Mainassara and paved the way for the vote that led to Mamadou Tandja's rule.

International observers called the election that followed the 1999 coup generally free and fair.

 Colonel Abdoulaye Adamou Harouna

Colonel Abdoulaye Adamou Harouna, who became a colonel in October 2009, led the forces that stormed the presidential palace.

Harouna's younger brother, Captain Djibril, was also involved in the operation.

The older Harouna heads the Nigerien unit of The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) standby force, comprising 507 soldiers and two armoured divisions, military sources said.

Like Hamidou, he was also involved in the 1999 coup, having served as the aide-de-camp for the coup leader at the time.

Harouna had previously served as a batallion commander for Niger's peacekeeping contingent in Ivory Coast.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.