Niger: Coup Attempt Condemnable

Worrying reports of a fresh coup attempt in Niger have made headlines.

Development Diaries reports that the country’s President, Mohamed Bazoum, has reportedly been seized by members of the presidential guard, leading to a protest in the capital, Niamey.

It is understood that the country’s Minister of Interior, Hamadou Souley, was arrested by the presidential guard on Wednesday morning along with Bazoum.

It is also understood that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said earlier in the day, in a statement, that there had been an ‘attempt to seize power by force’ in the West African country.

According to a CNN report, hundreds of protesters later gathered in Niamey in support of Bazoum, with presidential guards firing ‘warning shots’ to block their advance.

Since gaining independence from France in 1960, Niger has experienced four coups and countless attempted ones, making it one of the most coup-prone countries in the world.

The Lomé Declaration of 2000 and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance of 2007 both define aspects of unconstitutional change of government to include: a military coup against a democratically elected government; mercenary intervention to replace a democratically elected government; replacing a democratically elected government by dissident armed groups and rebel movements; or refusal of an outgoing government to relinquish power following defeat in free, fair and regular elections.

Development Diaries condemns the attempt to seize power by force and calls on the coup plotters to immediately free the democratically-elected president.

Also, ECOWAS must ensure that unconstitutional changes of government in the region are not tolerated.

Photo source: BBC


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