UN human rights chief condemns coup attempt in Niger

UN human rights chief condemns coup attempt in Niger

'All efforts must be undertaken to restore constitutional order and the rule of law,' says Volker Turk

By Burak Bir

LONDON (AA) – The UN human rights chief on Thursday condemned in "strongest possible terms" an attempted coup by some members of the military in the West African country of Niger.

"I am shocked and distressed by the attempted military takeover in Niger and condemn it in the strongest terms. All efforts must be undertaken to restore constitutional order and the rule of law," Volker Turk said in a statement.

Saying that President Mohamed Bazoum "must be immediately and unconditionally released, and his security ensured," the UN human rights chief urged all parties to refrain from violence and respect the rights and fundamental freedoms of all.

"It is in the interests of all the people of Niger that the important democratic gains made in recent years are safeguarded and preserved," added Turk.

The Nigerien presidency confirmed on Wednesday that a coup attempt had been carried out the morning.

Calling themselves the National Council for the Safeguarding of the Country, the soldiers read out a coup statement on state broadcaster ORTN.

The history of Niger has been marked by a series of coups and coup attempts since it declared independence from France in 1960.

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