Soldiers in Niger Announce Coup on National TV.

Soldiers in the West African country of Niger have announced a coup on national TV, declaring the dissolution of the constitution, suspension of all institutions, and the closure of the nation’s borders. President Mohamed Bazoum has been held by troops from the presidential guard since early Wednesday. This event has raised concerns among international leaders, with both the US and UN offering their support.

In a televised address, Col Maj Amadou Abdramane and nine other uniformed soldiers announced the end of the current regime. They justified their actions by citing the worsening security situation and the government’s failure in economic and social governance. The coup leaders identified themselves as part of the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP).

Following the coup announcement, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken assured President Bazoum of unwavering support, condemning the forceful attempt to seize power. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also expressed full support for the president and his government. The incident has raised concerns about the growing trend of military takeovers in Africa.

The current location of President Bazoum remains unknown. However, he took to Twitter to assure the people of Niger that their hard-won gains under democracy would be protected by those who cherish it.

President Bazoum has been a crucial Western ally in the battle against Islamist militancy in West Africa. The country is grappling with two Islamist insurgencies—one in the southwest, which swept in from Mali in 2015, and the other in the southeast, involving jihadists based in northeastern Nigeria. Militant groups affiliated with al-Qaeda and Islamic State are actively operating in the country, adding to its instability.

Niger, since gaining independence from France in 1960, has experienced four coups, as well as numerous attempted coups. The situation in Niger has further heightened concerns about political instability and its implications for regional and international security.

Ecowas, the West African economic bloc, strongly condemned the military’s attempt to seize power by force in Niger. President Patrice Talon of Benin arrived in the capital Niamey on a mediation mission, advocating for a peaceful resolution to restore constitutional order.

The coup in Niger has created a tense and uncertain situation both domestically and internationally. With President Bazoum’s whereabouts still unknown, the future of the country remains uncertain. Given Niger’s history of previous coups and attempted coups, the global community is closely monitoring the developments. Restoring constitutional order and addressing security challenges will be vital to stabilizing the nation and ensuring its progress towards democracy and peace.