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

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

African Union, European Union, Economic Community of West African States condemn attempted coup, urging soldiers to immediately cease their unacceptable actions

UPDATES WITH REMARKS BY MOUSSA FAKIMAHAMAT, JOSEP BORELL FONTELLES EU HIGH REPRESENTATIVE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS, DECK CHANGED

By Aurore Bonny and Hassan Isilow

DOUALA, Cameroon (AA) – The African Union (AU), European Union (EU), and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Wednesday condemned an attempted coup by some members of the military in Niger.

Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the African Union Commission, strongly criticized the actions of some of the soldiers who attempted to undermine the stability of Niger’s democratic and republican institutions through the attempted coup.

Mahamat urged the soldiers to immediately cease their unacceptable actions.

Earlier, the Nigerien presidency confirmed that a coup attempt was carried out on Wednesday morning 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.

The Presidency added that "Early 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 reported to be 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.

Mahamat called on the people of Niger, the continent, and the world to unite in condemning the coup attempt and demanding the immediate and unconditional return of the felon soldiers to their barracks.


- AU, EU, ECOWAS condemn coup attempt

Josep Borell Fontelles, the high representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, also condemned the coup attempt.

"Very concerned about the ongoing events in Niamey (Niger’s capital). The EU condemns any attempt to destabilize democracy and threaten the stability of Niger, “he said via Twitter.

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

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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