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AU, ECOWAS Condemn Coup Plot In Niger

An attempted coup was underway on Wednesday in the fragile state of Niger Republic, where members of the Presidential Guard detained President Mohamed Bazoum, triggering a standoff with the army.

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Hours after the president was detained, Bazoum supporters tried to approach the complex where he was being held, but were dispersed by members of the Presidential Guard, who fired warning shots, AFP reported.

Disgruntled members of the elite Presidential Guard sealed off access to the President’s residence and offices in the capital Niamey, and after talks broke down they “refused to release the President,” a presidential source said.

“The army has given them an ultimatum,” said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The reason for the guards’ anger was not disclosed.

Meanwhile, the African Union condemned the act and accused the soldiers of betraying their duty.

A Twitter post from the AU read, “Informed of an attempt by certain members of the military to undermine the stability of democratic & republican institutions in Niger, tantamount to an attempted coup d’état, the Chairperson of the AU Commission, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, strongly condemns such actions.”

The AU chair, Moussa Mahamat, further accused the soldiers of “acting in total betrayal of their republican duty.”

He urged them to “immediately cease these unacceptable actions” and return to their barracks.

Similarly, the Economic Community of West African States, on Wednesday, said it would deploy “all means necessary” to restore constitutional order in the Republic of Niger amid coup fears.

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