Max Air aircraft 5N-ADM on an Hajj flight to Niamey, Niger Republic is stranded in the city’s airport due to the ongoing military coup in the country.
The aircraft, a b-747-400 landed in Niamey at 2140z (2240 local time) with 360 Nigerian pilgrims onboard. Captain Maitama Kabo was in command of the 18 crew onboard.
Meanwhile, the United Nations, UN, and European Union, EU, have condemn Niger coup, call for immediate release of President Bazoum
The UN and EU condemned Niger’s military for removing President Mohamed Bazoum from power – and the overthrow of his government – in an apparent coup.
Niger Army, Colonel Major Amadou Adramane, spoke during an appearance on national television, after President Mohamed Bazoum was held in the presidential palace, in Niamey, Niger, 26 July 2023.
The head of Niger’s armed forces has endorsed a declaration by troops who announced they had taken power after detaining the country’s elected president, Mohamed Bazoum.
In a statement signed this Thursday by armed forces chief General Abdou Sidikou Issa, “The military command of the Nigerien armed forces… has decided to subscribe to the declaration by the defence and security forces… in order to avoid a deadly confrontation between the various forces.
Meanwhile, the United Nations has called for President Bazoum to be released “immediately.”
UN human rights chief Volker Turk said in a statement: “I am shocked and distressed by the attempted military takeover in Niger and condemn it in the strongest terms. All efforts must be undertaken to restore constitutional order and the rule of law.
“President Mohamed Bazoum must be immediately and unconditionally released, and his security ensured. The arbitrarily detained members of his government and their relatives must also be released forthwith, and without preconditions.
“I urge all actors to refrain from violence and respect the rights and fundamental freedoms of all. It is in the interests of all the people of Niger that the important democratic gains made in recent years are safeguarded and preserved.”
The European Union has also called for the immediate release of Niger’s president.
In a televised address late Wednesday, Colonel-Major Amadou Abdramane said defence and security forces had decided to “put an end to the regime that you know due to the deteriorating security situation and bad governance”.
Surrounded by nine other uniformed soldiers, Abdramane said Niger’s borders are closed, all institutions in the country are suspended, and a 10pm to 5am curfew is imposed on the entire country, until further notice.
He spoke hours after presidential guards, lead by by General Omar Tchiani, took over the presidency.
Regional leaders organised a mediation mission to prevent a coup, but the president was not released after talks broke down.
Bazoum became Niger’s first president to take power in a democratic transition in the country, a former French colony that has gone through four military coups since independence in 1960.
France condemns coup attempt
France joined other Western and regional leaders in condemning the attempted coup, saying it condemned any attempt to seize power through violence in Niger.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Anne-Claire Legendre said Paris was watching the situation carefully, but “condemned attempts to take power by force.”
France, she said, joined African Union calls to restore the integrity of democratic institutions.
Niger has become a key ally for Western powers in the fight against jihadist insurgencies and in keeping in check irregular migration from sub-Saharan Africa, but has faced growing pressure from the new juntas in charge of neighbouring Mali and Burkina Faso.
France has decided in recent months to move troops to Niger to launch anti-jihadist operations after it completed the withdrawal of thousands of troops from Mali.
About 1,000 to 1,500 French soldiers are based in Niamey,.
An updated travel advisory from the French ministry said the 1,200 citizens in the country should be vigilant and limit their movements.
Madukwe B. Nwabuisi is an accomplished journalist known for his fearless reporting style and extensive expertise in the field. With a keen investigative eye and exceptional writing skills, he has established himself as a kamikaze reporter, unafraid to delve into the most challenging and controversial subjects. Nwabuisi's vast experience in journalism has honed his ability to uncover hidden truths and shed light on important issues. His dedication to seeking the truth and presenting it to the public in a compelling and thought-provoking manner has earned him a reputable status in the industry.