The army chief of staff, in a statement, emphasized the importance of safeguarding the safety of the president and his family while avoiding a violent confrontation that could lead to bloodshed and endanger the population’s security.
A video communique featured a man identified as Colonel-Major Amadou Abdramane, flanked by several apparent soldiers, declaring their decision to end the current regime due to a deteriorating security situation and poor economic and social governance.
President Mohamed Bazoum and Foreign Minister Hassoumi Massoudou previously called on democratic forces to resist the power grab, while Western officials expressed uncertainty about the status of the coup attempt.
The soldiers, in a televised address late at night, announced that they had removed President Bazoum from power and suspended the country’s institutions.
This marked the seventh coup in West and Central Africa since 2020. Earlier, they had surrounded and cut off access to the presidential palace in the capital, Niamey, where the president was present.
In a social media statement on Thursday morning, President Bazoum pledged to safeguard the hard-earned democratic progress in Niger, a country of significant importance to Western powers in their efforts to combat insurgency in the Sahel region.
Foreign Minister Hassoumi Massoudou, also utilizing the platform now known as X (formerly Twitter), urged democrats and patriots to thwart the “attempted coup.”
As citizens woke up to heavy rain, closed borders, and a nationwide curfew imposed by the coup plotters, the capital city Niamey remained calm on Thursday morning.
According to Massoudou, not all factions of the army were involved in the coup attempt. Several Western officials, speaking anonymously to Reuters, stated that there was no on-the-ground evidence suggesting broad support for the coup within the armed forces.