Niger's presidential residence cordoned off, stirring fears of coup bid

Niger's presidential residence cordoned off, stirring fears of coup bid

Elite Presidential Guard blocks access to President Mohamed Bazoum's official residence, raising concerns in country that has undergone several coups

By Andrew Wasike

NAIROBI, Kenya (AA) - In a tense Wednesday, several security sources reported that the presidential palace in Niamey, Niger's capital, was blockaded by soldiers from the elite Presidential Guard.

The move effectively sealed off access to the official residence of Mohamed Bazoum, the nation’s president.

A senior police officer who spoke to Anadolu on condition of anonymity said: "We cannot confirm any coup claims at this time, as the situation is still evolving, and investigations are underway. However, we are closely monitoring developments at the president's residence.”

Niger, a landlocked West African nation, has a tumultuous history of coups, as it has faced a number of coups and coup attempts since gaining independence from France in 1960.

The blockade by the elite Presidential Guard has heightened concerns among the public, who flooded social media, fearing a possible coup attempt in progress.

As the situation unfolds, the public remains on edge, hoping for a peaceful resolution.

In 1964, the country faced its first coup attempt, followed by a successful coup in 1974 led by Lt. Col. Seyni Kountche, whose military regime remained in power until his death 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 his 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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