OAN’s Shawntel Smith-Hill
12:55 PM – Thursday, July 27, 2023
West African soldiers from the country of Niger have announced a coup during a national TV broadcast.
The soldiers say they have dissolved the constitution, suspended all internal institutions, blocked the nation’s borders, and imposed a strict curfew for locals.
Since Wednesday, the nation’s President Mohamed Bazoum has already been removed from power after a convoy of armed guards seized control of the presidential palace in Niamey, the national capital.
Colonel Amadou Abdramane, surrounded by nine other officers, made a televised address to the nation late Wednesday.
The statement announced that the coup had decided to “put an end to the regime that you know due to the deteriorating security situation and bad governance.”
The coup is reportedly being led by the head of a regional political and security group.
Despite the group’s stern warning against any foreign intervention, regional and global leaders around the world have called for the safe release of Bazoum. Who has only been president of the nation for two years.
Bazoum’s presidency marked the country’s first peaceful transition of power since its independence from France in 1960.
After the news of the coup and President Bazoum’s removal of power reached the United States, several key figures who promised “unwavering support,” such as the United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken, made efforts to call for the release of Bazoum.
Blinken, who was visiting a news conference in New Zealand, said, “I spoke with President Bazoum earlier this morning, and made clear that the U.S. resolutely supports him as the democratically elected president of Niger. We call for his immediate release.”
“We condemn any efforts to seize power by force,” said Blinken. “We’re actively engaged with the Niger government, but also with partners in the region and around the world, and will continue to do so until the situation is resolved appropriately and peacefully.”
Other prominent figures include United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, who said he spoke with Bazoum and would be offering his “full support and solidarity.” Guterres called on “all actors involved to exercise restraint and to ensure the protection of constitutional order.”
Niger is not the only country in recent years to have experienced a coup, both Mali and Burkina Faso, which are neighboring countries of Niger, have seen new military leaders at odds with France, the former colonial power.
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