Reports from the AFP and Reuters news agencies indicate that Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum has been ousted from power by a group of soldiers. The soldiers, led by Colonel-Major Amadou Abdramane and accompanied by nine others in uniform, made this announcement on national television.
Reading from a statement, the soldiers declared an end to President Bazoum’s regime and stated that the country’s borders are closed, with a nationwide curfew imposed. Earlier on the same day, the group had barricaded the presidential palace in Niamey, the capital of Niger, while a contingent of the presidential guard attempted to detain President Bazoum inside his residence.
According to official and unofficial comments from President Bazoum’s office, the situation involved a “fit of temper” from elite troops, and talks were underway to de-escalate the tension.
Niger’s presidency issued a pair of tweets, one of which was later deleted. The remaining tweet acknowledged that elements of the presidential guard were in revolt, but the majority of the armed forces remained loyal. It also reassured the public that the president and his family were safe and that the army and national guard were prepared to take action against the rebel elements if necessary.
Foreign Minister Hassoumi Massoudou called on all democrats and patriots to thwart this “perilous adventure” and uphold the hard-won gains of the country. He emphasized that the elected government, led by the president, was the only legitimate power in Niger.
Despite the situation around the presidential complex in Niamey being sealed off, there were no signs of abnormal military activity or gunfire, and traffic appeared to be normal, as reported by an AFP journalist on the ground.