President Mohamed Bazoum of Niger has been confined within the presidential palace in the capital city, Niamey, by the Niger guards. The palace has been surrounded by military vehicles since Wednesday morning, according to Reuters.
This situation has drawn comparisons to the four military coups that have occurred in neighboring Mali and Burkina Faso since 2020. In response to the developments at the presidential palace, ministries adjacent to the palace have also been cordoned off, and employees inside the palace are unable to access their offices, as reported by sources from the presidency and security.
Despite these events, the rest of Niamey seems relatively calm, with normal morning traffic on the roads and uninterrupted internet access, as noted by Reuters.
It is worth noting that previous coups in Burkina Faso and Mali were partly motivated by frustrations over the authorities’ inability to contain the Islamist insurgency in the Sahel region, which encompasses Niger as well.
Niger has also experienced a thwarted coup attempt in March 2021, when a military unit tried to seize the presidential palace shortly before Bazoum was scheduled to be sworn in as president.
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