🔴 Live: Junta arresting government ministers in Niger, president’s party says
The junta which seized power in Niger on July 26 has arrested four ministers, a former minister and the head of ousted President Mohamed Bazoum’s party, the party said on Monday. Bazoum is still being held by the military and head of the presidential guard, Abdourahamane Tiani, has declared himself Niger’s new leader. Follow our liveblog for all the latest developments. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).
2:46pm: Niger junta arresting ministers, says president’s party
Four ministers in Niger, a former minister and the head of ousted president Mohamed Bazoum’s party have been arrested by the junta which seized power on July 26, the party said on Monday.
“After the president was detained last week, the putschists went on the attack again and carried out more arrests,” the Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS) said in a statement to AFP.
On Monday morning, Oil Minister Mahamane Sani Mahamadou – the son of influential former president Mahamadou Issoufou – and Mining Minister Ousseini Hadizatou were arrested, it said.
The head of the PNDS’s national executive committee, Fourmakoye Gado, was also arrested, it said.
The junta had previously arrested Interior Minister Hama Amadou Souley, Transport Minister Oumarou Malam Alma and Kalla Moutari, an MP and former defence minister the party said.
The arrests coincided with a statement by the junta requiring “all former ministers and heads of institutions” to hand back their office cars by noon.
2:42pm: Niger’s planned $51mn bond issuance cancelled due to sanctions
A planned 30 billion CFA francs ($51 million) bond issuance by Niger scheduled for Monday in the West African regional debt market has been cancelled by the regional central bank following the imposition of sanctions over a coup, market sources said.
West African leaders on Sunday imposed sanctions on Niger, including a halt in all financial transactions and a national assets freeze, to try to force a junta that seized power in the Sahel nation last week to restore constitutional order.
Niger, which is one of the world’s poorest countries and largely depends on external aid and financing, was expected to issue two other bonds in the regional market on August 7 and August 17, according to an issuance calendar of the regional debt management agency.
12:48pm: Only legitimate authority in Niger is Bazoum’s, says French foreign ministry
The only authority France recognises as legitimate in Niger is President Mohamed Bazoum’s,the French foreign ministry said on Monday when asked if it had obtained authorisation from Niger to carry out strikes to free the ousted leader.
The Niger military junta that seized power last week said on Monday the toppled government had authorised France to carry out strikes at the presidency to try to free Bazoum.
“Our priority is the security of our citizens and our facilities, which cannot be targeted by violence, according to international law,” the French foreign ministry added in a statement given to Reuters.
It did not confirm or deny being authorised to strike in Niger.
12:40pm: Germany suspends financial aid, development cooperation with Niger
Germany said Monday it had suspended financial aid to Niger as well as development cooperation with the jihadist-hit nation following last week’s coup, and warned it could take further measures.
Berlin has “suspended all direct support payments to the central government of Niger until further notice,” a foreign ministry spokesman told a press briefing.
“Depending on developments in the coming days, we may take further measures,” the spokesman added, without giving further details.
The development ministry had also decided to “suspend bilateral development cooperation,” a spokeswoman told the briefing.
The European Union and former colonial power France had already suspended financial aid to Niger and security cooperation at the weekend.
12:05pm: Kremlin calls for ‘restraint from all parties’ in Niger
The Kremlin on Monday asked all sides to exercise restraint in Niger, where a junta seized power last week in a coup and detained President Mohamed Bazoum.
“We call for the rapid restoration of the rule of law in the country and for restraint from all parties so that this doesn’t result in human casualties,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
9:58am: Niger putschists accuse France of wanting to ‘intervene militarily’
Niger’s new junta on Monday accused former colonial ruler France of wanting to “intervene militarily” to reinstate deposed President Mohamed Bazoum.
“In its search for ways and means to intervene militarily in Niger, France with the complicity of some Nigeriens, held a meeting with the chief of staff of the Nigerien national guard to obtain the necessary political and military authorisation needed,” said a statement read out on national television.
In another statement, the putschists accused the security services of an unnamed Western embassy of firing teargas Sunday on pro-coup demonstrators in the capital Niamey.
It said six people had been hospitalised after the incident.
French President Emmanuel Macron had Sunday vowed “immediate” action if French citizens or interests were attacked in Niger, after thousands of Nigeriens rallied outside the French embassy.
Key events in Niger so far
Niger’s elected president Mohamed Bazoum, has been held by the military since July 26, in the third coup in as many years to fell a leader in the Sahel.
The head of Niger’s powerful presidential guard, General Abdourahamane Tiani, has declared himself the country’s new leader.
Tiani said the putsch was a response to “the degradation of the security situation” linked to jihadist bloodshed, as well as corruption and economic woes.
Former colonial ruler France and the European Union have suspended security cooperation and financial aid to Niger following the coup, while the United States warned that its aid could also be at stake.
Read more‘Last bastion of democracy in the Sahel’: Uncertainty in Niger prompts concern among allies
At an emergency summit on Sunday the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) gave Tiani one week to reinstate the country’s democratically elected president and have threatened to use force if the demands aren’t met.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP, REUTERS and AP)
We are now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@TechiUpdate) and stay updated with the latest Technology headlines.
For all the latest Health News Click Here