and military vehicles were stationed
outside the presidential palace in Niger
on Friday, following Thursday’s toppling
of President Mamadou Tandja. Trucks with
automatic machine guns were also
positioned in front of the Prime
Minister’s office and Foreign Affairs
Ministry. The African Union’s chief Jean
Ping condemned the coup and “seizure of
power by force”.
Although there were
no signs of further violence, armed
soldiers were carrying out street
patrols, while Niamey was reportedly
calm following a night of curfew.
spokesman Colonel Goukoye Abdul Karim
Ping, the chair of the African Union,
condemned “any unconstitutional change”
on Friday, and called for the “speedy
return to constitutional order”.
It is thought
71-year-old Tandja is being held in a
barracks on the outskirts of Niamey
after Thursday’s ousting.
The military junta,
known as the Supreme Council for the
Restoration of Democracy (CSRD), called
for calm and closed the country’s
Abdul Karim, a spokesperson for the CSRD,
said “we have decided to put an end to
this tense political situation”.
Tandja had changed
the constitution last August in order to
allow himself to stay in office.
At least three
soldiers were killed on Thursday in gun
battles that followed the storming of
the presidential palace during a cabinet