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Coup Panic: Niger President Mohamed Bazoum, Held By Guards, Prompting Regional Fears

Soldiers in Niger have blockaded the presidential palace, as well as several ministries in the capital, Niamey, according to reports.

No shots were fired and it’s not clear if this is an attempt by the presidential guard to seize power. The president’s office tweeted that the guards unsuccessfully tried to get support from the military in their “anti-republican” efforts.

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President Mohamed Bazoum is in his residence with his family, AFP reports.

One unnamed source told the same agency the move was a “fit of temper” by troops, and that talks were underway. Reports say the immediate former president, Mohammed Issoufou, and other former presidents are currently involved in talks to stop the situation from escalating.

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“The President of the Republic and his family are doing well. The Army and the National Guard are ready to attack” those involved in this incident, the president’s office added. The landlocked West African state is one of the most coup-prone nations in the world, experiencing four since independence from France in 1960, as well as numerous attempted coups. President Bazoum, who was democratically elected in 2021, is a close ally of France.

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