On the social media platform X on Thursday, President Mohamed Bazoum of Niger, who was ousted in a military coup, expressed that the valuable achievements made during his leadership will be protected.
He reassured Nigeriens who cherish democracy that they will work diligently to ensure its preservation.
The country’s foreign minister Hassoumi Massoudou also posted on the platform formerly known as Twitter, calling on “all democrats and patriots” to make this “perilous adventure” fail.
Their statements followed a late-night address on Wednesday by soldiers on national television announcing that Bazoum had been removed from power and all institutions of the republic suspended, marking the seventh coup in West and Central Africa since 2020.
Earlier on Wednesday members of the presidential guard had blocked Bazoum inside the presidential palace, sparking regional and international concern about instability in a country that is a pivotal ally for Western powers helping fight an insurgency in the Sahel region.
Bazoum was still being held inside the presidential palace on Thursday morning, Massoudou said in an interview with French broadcaster France 24. The minister’s whereabouts were unclear.
Niamey was quiet on Thursday morning as citizens awoke to closed borders and a nationwide curfew imposed by the military.
Several Bazoum supporters had gathered in the city as events were unfolding on Wednesday, voicing their opposition to a change of power, a Reuters reporter said. They were later dispersed.
It is not yet clear who has taken command. The presidential guard is headed by General Omar Tchiani, but the televised statement was read by a member of the air force named Colonel Amadou Abdramane.