Niger presidency confirms coup attempt, says President Bazoum and his family safe

Niger presidency confirms coup attempt, says President Bazoum and his family safe

'Army, National Guard is ready to attack the Presidential Guards involved,' presidency says

By Aurore Bonny

DOUALA, Cameroon (AA) - The Nigerien presidency have confirmed that a coup attempt was carried out on Wednesday by soldiers who sealed off access to the official residence of President Mohamed Bazoum.

"It is the act of certain elements of the presidential guard who did not obtain the support of the National Armed Forces and the National Guard," the West African country’s presidency said in a statement.

"Early this Wednesday morning, elements of the Presidential Guard (GP) engaged in an anti-republican mood movement and tried in vain to obtain the support of the National Armed Forces and the National Guard," it added.

Mohamed Bazoum and his family are in good health according to the presidency.

"The army and the National Guard are ready to attack the elements of the Presidential Guard involved in this mood swing if they do not return to better feelings," the presidency said.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), of which Niger is a member, condemned "the attempt to seize power by force" in a press release.

It demanded the "immediate and unconditional release" of President Bazoum.

Niger, a landlocked West African nation, has a tumultuous history with coups, facing various coups and coup attempts since gaining independence from France in 1960.

The recent act by the elite Presidential Guard has heightened concerns among citizens who have flooded social media, fearing potential coup attempts.

In 1964, the country faced its first coup attempt, followed by a successful military coup in 1974 led by Lt. Col. Seyni Kountche. Kountche's military regime remained in power until he died in 1987.

In 1996, Col. Ibrahim Bare Mainassara orchestrated another coup, resulting in the death of democratically elected President Mahamane Ousmane.

A return to civilian rule occurred in 1999, leading to the election of President Mamadou Tandja.

However, in 2010, Tandja's attempted extension of his presidential term resulted in military intervention and removal from power.

In 2011, Niger successfully transferred power through democratic elections, electing President Mahamadou Issoufou.

Despite political tensions in 2020, Niger managed to avoid another coup.

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