Mahamat Idriss Déby, the president of Chad, travelled to Niger
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After an attempted coup in Niger, the first image of the leader has been released online, showing him smiling broadly and in good health during a meeting with the president of neighbouring Chad.

Chadian President Mahamat Idriss Déby went to Niger as a diplomatic envoy to speak with the country’s democratically elected president, Mohamed Bazoum, believed to be in captivity at the presidential residence.

On Sunday, Déby posted the photo on his Facebook page, saying he went to Niger to search for a peaceful solution to the crisis shaking the neighboring nation.

A photo of him wearing military fatigues and smiling with Gen Abdourahamane Tchiani, the leader of the coup, was also posted.

The president of Chad, Mahamat Idriss Déby (left), meeting the Niger coup leader, Gen Abdourahamane Tchiani

It appears that the soldiers have removed the president from office, but there is still an intense power struggle going on. A number of neighboring countries and international partners have refused to recognize the new leadership and demanded that Bazoum be reinstated.

As of this writing, Bazoum has not been harmed and continues to speak with foreign governments by telephone.

Western powers have increasingly turned to Niger, a landlocked former French colony, for help in fighting the jihadist insurgencies that have spread across the Sahel region over the past decade. Baloum’s election in 2021 marked the first democratic transition of power in a state that has suffered four military coups since gaining independence from France in 1960.