News / Africa

Niger's Military Junta Confirms Thwarted Coup Attempt

Niger's number two junta leader Colonel Abdoulaye Baide during ceremonies for the 50th anniversary of the country's independence in Niamey, 03 Aug 2010
Niger's number two junta leader Colonel Abdoulaye Baide during ceremonies for the 50th anniversary of the country's independence in Niamey, 03 Aug 2010
Drew Hinshaw

Niger's military government has confirmed it thwarted a coup attempt and detained four top military leaders. The news is a sign of growing tension within the country's transitional government.

It's been a full week since security agents arrested the Nigerien colonel who was once the number two man in the nation's transitional military junta.

That arrest, as well as the additional ones that followed, sparked rumors of an an attempted coup that the West African country's military leaders confirmed at a press statement in the capital.

Junta spokesman Colonel Abdoul Karim Goukoye Karimou told reporters that the army has taken four senior officers into custody, and is charging them with trying to overthrow the state.

The situation is under control, he says.  Investigations abiding by the rules of military justice are going ahead to determine the implications of this affair, he says.

Karimou's statement confirms talk of a long-running split in the military junta, which took power in February after then-President Mamadou Tandja  revised the constitution to give himself an additional three years in power.

Since taking power, the military has organized what it says will be a transition to democracy, starting with a constitutional referendum on, among other things, the scope of presidential power.  But Colonel Karimou said the four arrested leaders opposed that referendum.

Their design was to undo all the commitments made by the transitional government  and to confiscate state power for their own profit, even as we are counting the days until our constitutional referendum.  That referendum, he says, will immediately mark the beginning of a process that will, within five months, return our country to a reign of democracy and human rights.

Voting for that referendum was scheduled to begin on October 31, and would be followed by a series of local and national elections on January 31. By April, according to the military timeline, the West Africa country is supposed to have a newly-elected president after years of aborted democracies and military intervention.

But funding for the election has been slow to reach the country's electoral authorities, and there have been delays in providing voting materials.

This latest threat to the vote, Colonel Karimou said, should not be allowed to further interfere with Niger's transition.

What our country needs most right now is the restoration of democracy, reconciliation among Nigeriens, and complete cleansing of our economy and our financial situation, he says.

The four detained leaders are being held by gendarmes in the capital Niamey.  On Thursday, the military junta also fired the chief of its secret service for reasons that have yet to be explained.

You May Like

N. Korea Sentences American to 6 Years Hard Labor

Matthew Miller's brief trial Sunday comes two weeks after 24-year old Miller and two other American detainees appealed to the US government to help free them More

Pakistan Rejects Afghan Criticism of 480-kilometer Border Trench

Military spokesman tells VOA the project is part of administrative and security measures taken to secure the mountainous border with Afghanistan More

Photogallery Typhoon Kalmaegi Makes Landfall in Philippines

Storm makes landfall late Sunday, cutting power and communications lines and forcing people to flee to higher ground 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.
Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interesti
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 12, 2014 8:35 PM
The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video Palestinians Turn to Rebuilding Gaza

After almost two months of conflict in Gaza, Palestinians are preparing to rebuild the isolated Mediterranean enclave with assistance from abroad. Meanwhile, an international human rights group has found that Israel likely violated international laws of war during some of its attacks on Gaza. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Middle Eastern Church Leaders Highlight Christians’ Plight

Patriarchs of Eastern Rite churches came to Washington this week to draw attention to the attacks against Christians in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. VOA’s religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid