Niger president held, government dissolved in coup

Yesterday’s putsch ended with the arrest of President Mamadou Tandja, which was preceeded by gun fights throughout the capital of Niamey.

Colonel Goukoye Abdul Karimou, a spokesman for Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy, the group responsible for the coup, stated that Niger‘s constitution had been suspended and all state institutions dissolved.

Karimou appealed to the citizens to maintain calm and embrace the ideals of the CSRD to make Niger an example of democracy and good governance. He said all the national treaties would be respected and urged the international community to have confidence in the group’s actions.

According to media reports, Tandja is held captive in an undisclosed military base. He was kidnapped during a cabinet meeting along with some ministers. However, the Nigerien embassy in London stated that both the president and ministers in his company were “safe and well”. Meanwhile, soldiers contacted by telephone inside one of the capital’s military barracks informed that the leader of the coup is Colonel Djibril Adamou Harouna.