UPDATE - Germany, EU condemn coup attempt in Niger

UPDATE - Germany, EU condemn coup attempt in Niger

'We strongly condemn all attempts to destabilize Niger,' says European Council President Charles Michel

CHANGES HEADLINE, DECK; ADDS MORE DETAILS

By Nur Asena Erturk

ANKARA (AA) – Germany on Thursday condemned an attempted coup by some members of the military in the West African country of Niger.

"We are following the events in Niger with great concern. We condemn the attempt by sections of the military to overthrow Niger's constitutional democratic order and call on them to immediately release the democratically elected President (Mohamed) Bazoum and return to their quarters,” said a German Foreign Ministry statement.

"The efforts of the African Union and the regional (trade) organization ECOWAS in this regard have our full support. Violence is not a means of asserting political or personal interests," it added.

European Council President Charles Michel also expressed the European Union's support for Bazoum.

"I talked to President Mohamed Bazoum and ensured him about EU's full support," Michel said in a tweet on Thursday.

"We strongly condemn all attempts to destabilize Niger. … We support the constitutional order and President (Patrice) Talon's current efforts on behalf of ECOWAS," he added, also referring to the president of neighboring Benin, who the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has sent to Niger as an envoy.

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

Bazoum was ousted and the Constitution suspended due to the country’s worsening security situation and socioeconomic crisis, according to a statement by Col. Maj. Amadou Abdramane.

Calling themselves the National Council for the Safeguarding of the Country, the soldiers read out a coup statement in a video they shot and broadcast on state television ORTN.

Talon is expected in Niger to evaluate the situation after a discussion with the ECOWAS chairperson, Nigeria’s President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, according to French broadcaster RFI.

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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