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Africa News of Thursday, 1 April 2021


Ghana, Nigeria, AU condemn failed coup d'état in Niger

Niger's West African neighbours, Ghana and Nigeria, have condemned a botched coup in country, calling it unacceptable and one that will not be countenanced.

Some armed soldiers late Tuesday into Wednesday, 31 March 2021 tried to seize the presidential palace in the capital Niamey but were fought off by the presidential guard.

Government said a number of soldiers had been arrested over the incident which took place with two days to the transfer of power from outgoing President Mahamadou Issoufou to president-elect Mohamed Bazoum.

It will be the first democratic transfer of power in a country that has historically been roiled by violent takeovers. The handing over will take place on Friday April 2 in Niamey.

Buhari condemns coup attempt, supports outgoing and incoming governments

Nigeria's condemnation came from President Muhammadu Buhari via his senior media aide, Garba Shehu, who posted a series of tweets on Wednesday addressing the development.

President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the attempted coup stressing that "any illegal effort to depose a democratically elected government is not only despicable, but also unacceptable to democratic governments around the world."

Buhari is said to have spoken to outgoing Nigerien president Mahamadou Issoufou on the situation.

"It is utterly naive to attempt the removal of an elected government by force. Military political adventurers should respect the will of the people and respect constitutional order.

"I'm particularly concerned about the negative impact of coups on African stability, peace and progress," Buhari reiterated before congratulating the incoming president Mohamed Bazoum on his election victory.

Ghana condemns coup as head of ECOWAS bloc

In the case of Ghana, the condemnation was from the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey.

Whiles speaking at a brief ceremony in Accra to officially receive an open letter from Ambassador-designate of the Embassy of the Republic of Niger, Mrs. Lamido Salamatou Bala Goga, the Minister said Ghana and the regional bloc ECOWAS jointly condemned the foiled takeover.

“Africa, West Africa, have gone past that and it is not something that should be entertained at all."

She added: “If people are not happy with the system, they should wait until it is time for elections and then speak their minds at the ballot box.

"It is something that is strongly condemned from our end as chair of ECOWAS and I believe that all the ECOWAS heads of states and the countries will condemn this kind of behaviour.”

April 1: AU Commission Chairperson Statement on Niger's failed coup

The President of the Commission of the African Union (AU), HE Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, followed, with deep concern, the foiled coup attempt in the Republic of Niger, on the night of March 30 to 31, 2021.

The Chairperson of the Commission condemns in the strongest terms this attempted coup d'état, which constitutes an unacceptable attack on the institutions of the Republic of Niger, as well as a serious violation of the relevant provisions of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance of the AU and the Additional Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

He recalls that Niger has just held free and transparent elections, which will allow, for the first time in Niger's political history, a constitutional transfer of power.

The President of the Commission underlines the imperative for all of Niger's active forces to seek a solution to their differences in strict compliance with the Constitution, laws and regulations of their country and encourages them to favor dialogue, with a view in particular to face, in unity and cohesion, the pressing security challenges that threaten Niger.

The President of the Commission reaffirms Africa's determination to continue to support Niger in its efforts to relentlessly combat terrorism and crime on the continent, in close cooperation with ECOWAS, the countries of the region and the community international as a whole.

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