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Niger's presidential guard mounts apparent coup attempt

The alleged rebellion has drawn swift condemnation from around the globe.
Niger's presidential guard mounts apparent coup attempt
Posted at 10:18 PM, Jul 26, 2023

Armed members of Niger's presidential guard staged an attempted coup Wednesday, surrounding the presidential palace and reportedly detaining Niger's President Mohamed Bazoum.

The African Union and the Economic Community of West African States say the presidential guard attempted to oust Bazoum, who was democratically elected into 2021 in the first such peaceful transfer of power in Niger since 1960, when the country gained independence from France.

The rebelling soldiers allegedly tried to gain support from other security services. A tweet from Niger's presidential account said the country's army and national guard were still opposed to the rebel forces, and "ready to attack" if the situation continued.

Streets surrounding the palace were blocked on Wednesday, as were some government offices, including state radio and television networks. The Associated Press reported hundreds of protesters marched in support of the president, chanting "no coup d'etat."

Condemnation of the alleged coup flowed in from around the world.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the development and called for "all actors involved to exercise restraint and to ensure the protection of constitutional order."

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Bazoum on Wednesday.

"He emphasized that the United States stands with the Nigerien people and regional and international partners in condemning this effort to seize power by force and overturn the constitutional order," according to a readout from the State Department.

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