Niger Soldiers Announce Coup, Close Borders
Niger soldiers have announced the removal of President Mohamed Bazoum from office.
Amadou Abdramane, a colonel-major, made the announcement in a televised address late Wednesday evening.
“We, the defence and security forces… have decided to put an end to the regime of President Bazoum,” Abdramane said while being flanked by fellow soldiers.
He added that they had dissolved the constitution, suspended all institutions and closed the country’s borders.
We reported that Bazoum has been held hostage by troops from the presidential guard.
Heavy military presence had been reported in the presidential palace, while the president was denied access to his office and residence.
This coup is the fifth the unstable West African country has witnessed, as well as numerous coup attempts, since it gained independence from France in 1960.
Former Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari had described the last coup attempt in 2021 as “utterly naïve, despicable, and unacceptable”.
The army had tried to seize the presidential palace, days before Bazoum was sworn in.
COUNTRIES, GLOBAL ORGANISATIONS STAND WITH NIGER
Following the development in Niger, many countries, organisations, and diplomats have pledged their support.
Earlier, President Bola Tinubu who is also the chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), said the body will not tolerate acts that undermine democracy in the region.
Shortly after his statement, ECOWAS deployed Beninese President Patrice Talon to the country.
Moussa Mahamat, the African Union (AU) chairperson, also expressed “strong” displeasure with the development in the west African country.
Mahamat said members of the military betrayed their republican duty and urged them to immediately reverse course.
Antony Blinken, US secretary of state, said he is standing firmly by Bazoum, while conveying Washington’s “unwavering support” for the embattled president.
AAntonio Guterres, United Nations (UN) secretary-general, also said he had spoken to the president and offered the UN’s full support.