Niger has sworn in its new president in the West African nation’s first democratic transfer of power.
Newly elected President Mohamed Bazoum’s inauguration Friday comes days after Niger’s security forces thwarted an attempted military coup at the presidential palace overnight from Tuesday into Wednesday.
Niger already faces unprecedented threats from Islamic extremists near its troubled border with Mali.
Bazoum succeeds President Mahamadou Issoufou who is stepping down after serving two terms, in accordance with Niger’s constitution.
Issoufou’s decision to respect the constitution has been widely hailed and paves the way for Niger’s first peaceful, democratic transfer of power since its independence from France in 1960.
The West African nation has seen four coups.
Bazoum pledged to be “the elected President for all Nigeriens” during his inauguration speech Friday.
While promising to preserve the unity and brotherhood of the Nigerien people, he said he was prepared to ”punish in one way or another” those involved in the latest coup attempt.
His main election rival, Mahamane Ousmane, has rejected election results claiming fraud.