Conflicts & War

Niger coup leaders allege France planning military intervention to free deposed president

Niamey, Jul 31 (EFE).- The military junta in Niger on Monday accused France of planning a military intervention in the country to free the deposed president Mohamed Bazoum.

The military junta, dubbed as the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP) on Wednesday overthrew the elected government of President Bazoum, who has been held by members of the army since then in the presidential palace.

“In its search for ways and means to intervene militarily in Niger, France with the complicity of some Nigeriens, held a meeting at the General Staff of the Niger National Guard to obtain the necessary political and military authorization,” junta spokesperson Amadou Abdramane said in a statement.

Abdramane said the country’s deposed foreign minister Hassoumi Massoudou, acting as prime minister, attended the meeting to authorize France for the military intervention.

The spokesperson claimed to possess the document that Massoudou had signed to authorize France’s military intervention.

“I Hassoumi Massoudou authorize the French partner to carry out strikes on the Presidential Palace to free the kidnapped President of the Republic, Mohamed Bazoum,” the spokesperson said, quoting part of the alleged document.

The junta spokesperson in another statement accused the security guards of the French embassy in Niamey of adopting a “destabilizing attitude” against hundreds of demonstrators on Sunday.

He claimed the security guards have “fired tear gas grenades and used weapons” against protesters that resulted in six injuries.

The military junta, after Wednesday’s coup, deposed the president and suspended the constitution.

Since then all institutions and borders have been shuttered and a night curfew is in place across Niger until further notice. EFE


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