On April 9, 1999, which is precisely 21 years ago, then Niger president, Ibrahim Bare Mainassara, was assassinated by soldiers alleged to be members of his presidential guard. Before his demise, Ibrahim Bare Mainassara was a military officer in Niger. He seized power after a coup d’etat that occurred in January 1996.
When Niger got its first democratic rule since independence in 1993, Mainassara was appointed chief of staff by President Mahammane Ousmane, the country’s first democratically elected President.
However, the government became immersed in an internal power struggle between President Ousmane and Prime Minister Hama Amadou. Mainassara organized a military coup that brought him to power.
He after that, suspended the constitution and arranged for new elections to be held. He contested for President and won the election under questionable circumstances that involved the house arrest of opposition candidates.
His government was criticized for being repressive. The policies of his administration led to dissent from the populace, with many calling for his resignation.
It was gathered that Mainassara met his tragic demise when he was ambushed and shot at the airport located in the capital city of Niamey.
According to reports, the President was trying to flee out of the country but was gruesomely murdered as he was about to board a plane. His funeral took place two days later, and it was attended by just his family and closest foreign allies.