There’s palpable tension in Niger Republic as the country’s soldiers claim to have overthrown the government following an apparent coup in the West African nation on Wednesday when members of the Presidential Guard detained President Mohamed Bazoum.
It is reported that members of the elite guard sealed off access to the president’s residence and offices in the capital Niamey.
Meanwhile the soldiers have declared and said that “all institutions” in the country would be suspended, borders were closed and a curfew imposed “until further notice” from 10 pm to 5 am.
Continuing the soldiers said “We, the defence and security force have decided to put an end to the regime” of President Bazoum.
The spokesperson for the coupists Colonel-Major Amadou Abdramane said in a televised address late Wednesday.
“This follows the continued deterioration of the security situation, poor economic and social governance,” he added, surrounded by nine other uniformed soldiers.
Meanwhile regional and global leaders have called for the release of Bazoum, who entered office two years ago in Niger’s first peaceful transition of power since independence from France in 1960.
The president of neighbouring Benin, Patrice Talon, will head to Niamey for mediation efforts, the head of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said.
Meanwhile as at the time of this report the Niger President Mohamed Bazoum is been held by troops from the presidential guard since early on Wednesday
A BBC report says he was promised Washington’s “unwavering support” in a call from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
UN Secretary General António Guterres also said he had spoken to the president and offered the UN’s full support to the uranium-rich country.
Niger Foreign Minister Hassoumi Massoudou has declared himself the head of state and called on all democrats to “make this adventure fail”.