Armed troops blockade presidential palace in Niger

Armed troops blockade presidential palace in Niger

Armed troops have blockaded the presidential palace in Niger, one of many world’s most unstable nations in what’s being described as an tried coup by the pinnacle of a regional political and safety group.

The troopers, together with members of the presidential guard of Mohamed Bazoum, have been stated to be engaged in negotiations with the president – who was described as “protected and properly” though his location was unclear.

Nevertheless, native media steered Bazoum was being held by the rebels.

The strikes by the elite guard power have been shortly challenged by the nation’s military and nationwide guard, who threatened to assault the presidential power except they stepped down.

A supply near Bazoum described the transfer as a “match of mood” by the elite troops including that “talks” have been below manner after the troopers blocked entry to the palace at about 6.30am on Wednesday.

A Reuters reporter noticed army automobiles blocking the doorway to the palace within the capital, Niamey. Entry to ministries subsequent to the palace had additionally been blocked, safety sources stated. Residents in different elements of town described site visitors transferring freely and no proof of armed males on the streets.

An official within the presidency stated workers contained in the palace didn’t have entry to their workplaces, whereas an announcement issued by the presidency on Twitter steered that the presidential guard had tried to win over the assist of some members of the armed forces of their actions.

If confirmed as an tried coup it will be the fifth in west Africa up to now 4 years.

Bola Tinubu, the president of neighbouring Nigeria and chair of the Financial Group of West African States (Ecowas), known as the occasions “disagreeable developments” and stated he was already in “shut session” with different leaders within the area concerning the scenario.

“The Ecowas management is not going to settle for any motion that impedes the graceful functioning of respectable authority in Niger or any a part of west Africa … we’ll do all the things inside our powers to make sure democracy is firmly planted, nurtured, properly rooted and thrives in our area,” he stated in an announcement.

Mendacity within the coronary heart of the Sahel, Niger is two-thirds desert and persistently ranks close to to or on the backside of the UN’s human improvement index, a benchmark of prosperity. It has a rising inhabitants of twenty-two.4 million, pushed by a birthrate averaging seven youngsters for each girl.

The nation is combating two jihadist campaigns – one within the south-west, which swept in from neighbouring Mali in 2015, and the opposite within the south-east, involving jihadists based mostly in north-eastern Nigeria.

Niger’s army has acquired coaching and logistical assist from the US and France, which have army bases there.

“It’s a match of mood by the presidential guard however talks are below manner with the president,” the supply instructed the AFP information company, talking on situation of anonymity.

“The president is ok, he’s protected and sound,” the supply stated. “He and his household are on the residence.”

The explanation for the guards’ behaviour and what was being mentioned within the talks weren’t given.

An MP with Bazoum’s PNDS social gathering stated: “I spoke to the president and to buddies who’re ministers (and) they’re nice.”

Bazoum, who was democratically elected in 2021, is an in depth ally of France. The nation’s final coup occurred in February 2010, overthrowing the then-president, Mamadou Tandja.

Nevertheless, there was an tried coup days earlier than Bazoum’s inauguration in April 2021, in accordance with a safety supply on the time. A number of individuals have been arrested, together with the suspected ringleader, an air power captain named Sani Gourouza. He was arrested in neighbouring Benin and handed over to the Niger authorities.

Ousmane Cisse, a former inside minister below a army authorities of transition that ran from 2010 to 2011, was detained in April 2022 for his suspected function. He was acquitted in February this yr, however 5 others, together with Gourouza, have been jailed for 20 years.

A second try to oust Bazoum came about in March this yr whereas the president was in Turkey, in accordance with a Niger official, who stated an arrest was made.

The authorities have by no means commented publicly on the incident.

In January 2018, 9 troopers and a civilian have been sentenced by a army courtroom to jail phrases starting from 5 to fifteen years for having tried to topple Bazoum’s predecessor, Mahamadou Issoufou, in 2015.

These convicted included Gen Souleymane Salou, a former military chief of workers and a member of the junta that had compelled out Tandja in 2010.

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