Niger Coup: Global Calls for President’s Release

The situation has evolved in Niamey with the overthrow of the regime of Mohamed Bazoum by the Nigerien Defense and Security Forces (FDS), meeting on Wednesday within the National Council for the Safeguarding of the Homeland (CNSP), according to a statement released by the national television.

The CNSP justified its action “following the continued deterioration of the security situation, poor economic and social governance”, the statement said.

Very early this morning, the palace of the presidency was prohibited from entering due to what was first presented as a “movement of temper” by the presidential guards. “No one leaves, no one returns to the presidency”, reported a witness who was turned back. Some were already talking about “an attempted coup”.

Talks took place on Wednesday morning between the political authorities and elements of the presidential guard. “The negotiations have failed and the soldiers of the presidential guard are still holding the President of the Republic”.

Around noon, security was reinforced around the presidential palace where heavy weapons were deployed. Strategic points in the capital such as national television and radio were also cordoned off by the FDS.

Wednesday evening, hundreds of demonstrators who mobilized in front of the palace to demand the release of Mohamed Bazoum, were repelled by tear gas fire, injuring several people.

The President of the Republic is still held back by the mutineers. “The situation is tense, we still do not know how the negotiations are going,” reports a close friend of the president.

The reactions are multiplying concerning the situation. ECOWAS condemns “the attempted coup in Niger” and calls for the “immediate and unconditional release of President Mohamed Bazoum”. As for the African Union, it “strongly condemns” the action of the CNSP.

The Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs “urges” to stop “this unacceptable attack on the constitutional order” and “this serious violation of the requirements of the rule of law”.

France and the UN chief each condemned any “attempt to seize power by force”. The head of European diplomacy Joseph Borrel condemns an “attempt to destabilize democracy”.

The United States said on Wednesday it was “deeply concerned” and called for the immediate release of President Mohamed Bazoum.

The last coup attempt in Niger dates back to March 31, 2021. It aimed to overthrow the current president, who had been democratically elected and had been in office since April 2, 2021.

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