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Niger guards blockade President Mohamed Bazoum’s palace – reports

Author: BBC | Published: Wednesday, July 26, 2023

President Bazoum was sworn in in 2021

Soldiers in Niger have blockaded the presidential palace, as well as several ministries in the capital, Niamey, according to reports.

No shots were fired and it’s not clear if this is an attempt by the presidential guard to seize power.

The president’s office tweeted that the guards unsuccessfully tried to get support from the military in their “anti-republican” efforts.

President Mohamed Bazoum is in his residence with his family, AFP reports.

One unnamed source told the same agency the move was a “fit of temper” by troops, and that talks were underway.

Reports say the immediate former president, Mohammed Issoufou, and other former presidents are currently involved in talks to stop the situation from escalating.

“The President of the Republic and his family are doing well. The Army and the National Guard are ready to attack” those involved in this incident, the president’s office added.

The landlocked West African state has experienced four coups since independence from France in 1960, as well as numerous attempted coups.

President Bazoum, who was democratically elected in 2021, is a close ally of France.

The country’s last coup occurred in February 2010, overturning then President Mamadou Tandja.

Niger is grappling with two jihadist campaigns – one in the south-west, which swept in from neighbouring Mali in 2015, and the other in the south-east, involving jihadists based in north-eastern Nigeria.

Militant groups allied to both al-Qaeda and Islamic State are active in the country.

Two neighbouring countries, Mali and Burkina Faso, have experienced coups recently triggered by jihadist uprisings.

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