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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube 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.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid