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Soldiers detain Niger President Mohamed Bazoum, US keeping ‘eye on situation’

Mohamed Bazoum Hostage: In the African country of Niger, President Mohamed Bazoum has been taken into custody by soldiers.  In a statement broadcast on national television, Colonel-Major Amadou Abdramane said, “The defence and security forces…. have decided to put an end to the regime you are familiar with.” “This follows the continuous deterioration of the […]

Edited By : Divya Richa | Updated: Jul 27, 2023 13:10 IST
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President Mohamed Bazoum

Mohamed Bazoum Hostage: In the African country of Niger, President Mohamed Bazoum has been taken into custody by soldiers.  In a statement broadcast on national television, Colonel-Major Amadou Abdramane said, “The defence and security forces…. have decided to put an end to the regime you are familiar with.”

“This follows the continuous deterioration of the security situation, the bad social and economic management.”

It has been claimed by the soldiers that a coup has been carried out in the West African country. Meanwhile, the US condemned any attempt to seize power in Niger by force, calling for the immediate release of President Mohamed Bazoum.

Niger’s president issued a statement on Wednesday saying that security forces had taken Niger’s president, Mohamed Bazoum, hostage in his presidential palace. According to reports, President Bazoum and his family are doing well. Security sources said presidential guards Bazoum were being held hostage inside the presidential palace in the capital Niamey.

Ministries close to the palace have also been closed, according to the president and security officials, making it impossible for palace staff to enter their workplaces. However, there is talk of peace in other areas of Niamey.

America keeps eye on situation

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement on Wednesday (local time) that the United States is deeply concerned about Niger. We strongly support the democratically elected President and condemn in the strongest terms any attempt to seize power by force and subvert the constitutional order.

Matthew Miller called for the immediate release of President Mohamed Bazoum, respecting the rule of law and public safety. We are closely monitoring the situation and are in contact with the US Embassy in Niamey.

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan also issued a statement calling Niger an important partner and saying the President urges elements of the Guard to release President Bazoum from custody and refrain from violence.

Union Commission’s warning

Earlier, the African Union Commission also strongly condemned the incident. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), a regional bloc of 15 West African countries, called for Bazoum’s immediate and unconditional release. Also warned that all those involved in this would be held responsible.

At the same time, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres tweeted, “I condemn in the strongest terms any attempt to seize power by force and undermine democratic governance, peace and stability in Niger. The UN stands with the government and people of Niger.

Bazoum was elected President in the 2021 elections. There have been four military coups since 2020 in Niger’s neighboring countries Burkina Faso and Mali. In recent years, coup attempts have resurfaced in the African region known as the Sahel, where the country is grappling with an Islamist insurgency.

 

First published on: Jul 27, 2023 09:19 AM IST

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