Niger’s presidential guard has detained President Bazoum, raising fears of a coup

Soldiers from Niger’s presidential guard have detained President Mohamed Bazoum, stoking fears of a coup attempt.

Behind the scenes: Soldiers have blocked the presidential palace and the current whereabouts of President Bazoum are unclear.
* According to Agence France-Presse news agency, soldiers have detained the president but their demands still remain unknown.

Regional response: The Economic Community of West African States condemned what it described as “the attempted coup d’etat” and called for Bazoum’s release, pledging to hold those involved accountable.
* Bazoum’s official Twitter account reported an “anti-Republican demonstration” by certain members of the presidential guard, but confirmed they lacked the support of the armed forces and national guard. This tweet has since been deleted.

Historical context: Niger has experienced four coups since gaining independence from France in 1960 and numerous attempted takeovers, including attempts against Bazoum.
* There has been a recent resurgence of attempted coups in the African region known as the Sahel, where countries are battling Islamist insurgencies.

View original article on NPR

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