News / Africa

Niger President Reported Held in Coup Attempt

Diplomatic and military sources say Niger President Mamadou Tandja has been seized by mutinous soldiers during a coup attempt in Niger's capital.

Media reports quoting senior officials say armed troops stormed the presidential palace Thursday afternoon as a meeting of government ministers was taking place.  Ministers in Mr. Tandja's government also appear to be held captive.  

A U.S. State Department spokesman said it appears there was an assassination attempt on Mr. Tandja but details are still unclear.  

Earlier in the day, smoke could be seen rising from the palace and witnesses reported heavy gunfire and explosions.  



Soldiers stand guard by Niamey's national hospital, Niger, during a coup attempt against President Mamadou Tandja on 18 Feb. 2010
Soldiers stand guard by Niamey's national hospital, Niger, during a coup attempt against President Mamadou Tandja on 18 Feb. 2010

 

State radio suspended broadcasts and later began playing military music, similar to two previous coups in Niger in the 1990s.  Soldiers and armored vehicles were seen near the palace and nearby streets were deserted.   

Hospital officials say at least three soldiers were killed during clashes.  

An African Union senior official, Ramtane Lamamra, expressed concern about the situation and said the AU was closely following what is going on.
 
Last year, President Tandja held a referendum to change the constitution and extend his rule, which had been due to expire at the end of 2009.

When Niger's parliament and constitutional court said the referendum was illegal, President Tandja dismissed both and ruled by decree.

In response, the European Union and United States imposed restrictions on Mr. Tandja's government and stopped some development aid.

The Economic Community of West African States has also suspended Niger.

 

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid