A group of soldiers have officially declared a coup on national television in the nation of Niger, West Africa.

They asserted that they had locked the country’s borders, suspended all institutions, and abolished the constitution.

Since early on Wednesday, the presidential guard has been keeping the president of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum, in custody.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called him and assured him of Washington’s “unwavering support.”

Additionally, the president was spoken to by UN Secretary General António Guterres, who promised the uranium-rich nation of the UN’s complete support.

In the struggle against Islamist militancy in West Africa, Mr. Bazoum is a crucial Western ally.

Recent Islamist uprisings have resulted in coups in two neighboring nations, Mali and Burkina Faso.

The former colonial power France, which also formerly dominated Niger, a large, arid country on the edge of the Sahara desert and one of the poorest countries in the world, has fallen out with the new military authorities in both countries.

Unknown to the public, Mr. Bazoum remarked in a tweet on Thursday morning that the “hard-won gains will be safeguarded” and that Nigerians who value democracy will take care of the situation.

Hassoumi Massoudou, the foreign minister, proclaimed himself to be the head of state and urged all Democrats to “make this adventure fail.”

In the TV announcement on Wednesday, Col Maj Amadou Abdramane, alongside nine other uniformed soldiers behind him, said: “We, the defence and security forces… have decided to put an end to the regime you know.

“This follows the continuing deterioration of the security situation, and poor economic and social governance.”

According to Col Maj Abdramane, the soldiers were representing the CNSP, or National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland.

He also said that all of the country’s institutions had been suspended and that the heads of the ministries would take care of day-to-day business.

“All external partners are asked not to interfere,” he went on. “Land and air borders are closed until the situation has stabilised.”

He stated that until further notice, a nighttime curfew would be in place from 22:00 to 5:00 local time.

By gvoice

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