Photo: The junta during the broadcast
Coup: Military officially announce successful takeover of power in Niger Republic
The military in Niger Republic have officially announced the overthrow of President Mohammed Bazoum’s government and takeover of power in the country.
The military officers announced the successful coup via a televised broadcast early on Thursday in Niamey, the country’s capital city.
The coup leader, identified as Colonel-Major Amadou Abdramane, flanked by his accomplices, said; “We have decided to put an end to the regime that you know,” citing a deteriorating security situation in the country and “poor economic and social governance.
All dressed in military fatigues, the junta claimed to have taken power in Niger hours after President Bazoum was reportedly seized by members of his Presidential Guard on Wednesday, leading to protests in the capital.
According to them, their seizure of power was to end Bazoum’s regime due to the “deteriorating security situation and bad governance.”
The junta therefore declared the constitution dissolved, all institutions suspended, and the country’s borders closed.
President Bazoum was deposed, in spite of the significant condemnation of his detention by the soldiers.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria, has rejected the military seize of power and dispatched a delegation to Niger, which is Nigeria’s northern neighbour.
Tinubu had previously warned after his recent election as ECOWAS chairman that West African nations would no longer tolerate violent power seizures in the region.
The military had earlier cordoned off Bazoum’s office and residence and was detained by the Presidential guard after negotiations between the President and the army broke down.
In the capital city, Niamey, crowds took to the streets in support of the detained president.
Abdramane, who seemed to be reading from a text on the table before him, declared that national institutions had been suspended and the country’s land borders temporarily closed.
Earlier, ECOWAS said that there had been an “attempt to seize power by force” in the West African country, in a statement on Wednesday.
“ECOWAS condemns in the strongest terms the attempt to seize power by force and calls on the coup plotters to free the democratically-elected President of the Republic immediately and without any condition,” the bloc added.
The country’s interior minister, Hamadou Souley, was also arrested by the presidential guard on Wednesday morning local time and held in the presidential palace in the capital Niamey along with Bazoum.
Hundreds of protesters had gathered in the capital Niamey in support of Bazoum and Presidential Guards had to fire “warning shots” to block their advance when protesters were about 300 meters (984 feet) from the presidential palace.
Meanwhile, international leaders have called for peace amid the coup.
The United Nations “stands by the Government and the people of Niger,” a spokesperson for Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, said.
The EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, also criticized “any attempt to destabilize democracy and threaten the stability of Niger.
France’s foreign ministry voiced concern and said it “is closely monitoring the development of the situation” in Niger.
White House officials said they “strongly condemn any effort to detain or subvert the functioning of Niger’s democratically elected government.
U.S. national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said the partnership between Washington and the West African country is contingent on its “continued commitment to democratic standards.
Bazoum was elected in 2021, precisely took office on April 2, 2021, after successfully thwarting a coup attempt just two days before his inauguration on March 31, 2021.
Attempts on power in the landlocked West African state are common as Niger has experienced four coups since independence from France in 1960.
The latest coup marks Niger’s first successful coup since 2010.