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

Ukraine President Appeals for More US Support

Speaking before Congress ahead of meeting with President Obama, Petro Poroshenko urges lawmakers to back Ukraine in its quest for freedom and democracy More

Photogallery Global Audience Watches as Scots Go to the Polls

People were almost equally divided over a vote for independence, watched closely by Britain's allies, investors and restive regions at home and abroad More

China to Invest $20B in India Amid Border Dispute

Border spat between armies of two countries in Himalayas underlines mutual tensions despite growing commercial ties highlighted by Xi Jinping's high-profile visit 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.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
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.


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