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Niger soldiers launch coup

Niamey: Niger President Mohamed Bazoum has said democracy will be safeguarded, after he was removed from power by the country’s defence force.

The coup was announced by a group of soldiers on Thursday who appeared on the West African nation’s national television, hours after the president was held in the presidential palace.

Niger Army spokesman Colonel Amadou Abdramane read from a statement while flanked by nine other officers wearing fatigues.

He said the defence and security forces had decided to “put an end to the regime that you know due to the deteriorating security situation and bad economic and social governance”.

The soldiers warned against any foreign intervention, with Niger’s presidency stating some members of the presidential guard had started an “anti-republican” movement “in vain”.

Mr Bazoum took to X, previously Twitter, to say “hard-won gains will be safeguarded” and that Nigeriens who love democracy will see to it.

Foreign Minister Hassoumi Massoudou also posted on the platform to say the “attempted coup will fail because it will be resisted by democratic forces.”

Colonel Abdramane sought to reassure the international community “the physical and moral integrity of the authorities will be respected, in accordance with the principle of human rights”.

He said all institutions were suspended, with the secretaries-general of the ministries to “take care of day-to-day business”.

He added that the country’s borders had been closed and a nationwide curfew declared until further notice.

– Reuters/AP