Niger Soldiers Tell Nation They 'Put an End to the Regime'

President Mohamed Bazoum apparently is being held by guards
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2023 8:00 PM CDT
Soldiers Tell Niger They Carried Out a Coup
President Mohamed Bazoum at the presidential palace in Niamey, Niger, in March.   (Boureima Hama/Pool Photo via AP/File)

A group of soldiers in Niger said Wednesday on national TV that they had successfully carried out a coup—suspending all national institutions and closing the nation's land borders. Col. Maj. Amadou Abdramane, with nine uniformed men standing behind him, announced that the constitution is no longer in effect, the BBC reports. The actions are in response to "the continuing deterioration of the security situation, and poor economic and social governance," he said. President Mohamed Bazoum apparently was taken into custody earlier in the day by members of the presidential guard, per CNN, which brought protests in the streets of Niamey.

In separate calls, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres assured Bazoum of their support. "We strongly condemn any effort to detain or subvert the functioning of Niger's democratically elected government," said White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, per the AP. He called on the presidential guard members to release Bazoum and not engage in violence. Niger's president has been an ally to Western nations in the battle against Islamist forces in West Africa.

Hundreds of demonstrators turned out in the capital to express support for Bazoum, drawing warning shots from presidential guards when they neared the presidential palace. One protester said they came "to show these military people that they can't just take the power like this." Mohammed Sidi added, "We are a democratic country, we support democracy and we don't need this kind of movement." The soldiers told outside forces to not interfere with the coup. The group has "decided to put an end to the regime you know," Abdramane said in the video. (More Niger stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.