The soldiers involved in the coup happening in the Niger Republic have warned against foreign intervention in the country’s political situation. In a late-night address on Wednesday, Amadou Abdramane, a colonel-major, announced the removal of President Mohamed Bazoum from office.
Abdramane’s statement confirmed reports of suspicion of a coup attempt after soldiers belonging to Niger’s presidential guard surrounded and restricted Bazoum’s access to his office and residence. Ministries next to the palace have also been blocked off, and staff have not been able to access their offices. So far, Niamey, Niger’s capital, has been relatively calm and there have been no reports of gunfire. Although Abdramane, in his address, was flanked by some soldiers, it is unclear if they are acting on behalf of the country’s military.
Moussa Faki, chairperson of the African Union, condemned the military for “acting in total betrayal of their republican duty”, urging the “felon soldiers” to return to their barracks.
COUNTRIES, GLOBAL ORGANISATIONS DEMAND BAZOUM’S RELEASE
Reacting to the coup announcement in a press conference on Thursday, Antony Blinken, United States secretary of state, called for Bazoum’s immediate release. Blinken said the military’s actions clearly show “an effort to seize power by force and to disrupt the constitution’’, while he offered Washington’s “unwavering support”. Antonio Guterres, secretary-general of the United Nations (UN), said he was following the evolving situation in Niger closely, and condemned any effort to seize power by force and to undermine democratic governance, peace and stability in Niger.
The UN said it would always stand by the government and the people of Niger. TheCable also reported that President Patrice Talon of Benin Republic was immediately deployed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to Niger to assess the unfolding crisis. Before his departure, Talon had met with President Bola Tinubu, chairperson of the ECOWAS, who assured that the union would not tolerate anti-democratic acts and would do everything to restore order in the unstable West African country. However, Abdramane warned that foreign interventions would not be welcome, adding that Bazoum’s well-being would be respected. All borders into the country were closed and all institutions were suspended after the colonel-major’s statement.