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A coup has been confirmed in the West African country of Niger, as soldiers have at last announced takeover of power on national television.

Since Wednesday, the Presidential Guard had held President Mohamed Bazoum hostage.

Seizing the national television, they announced the suspension of the nation’s constitution.

Bazoum is a key Western ally in the fight against Islamist militancy in West Africa, according to the BBC.

According to Col Maj Amadou Abdramane, who made the announcement with nine others, the defence and security forces had decided to put an end to the regime of Bazoum.

He said  this followed the continuing deterioration of the security’s situation, and poor economic and social governance.

Abdramane added that all of the country’s institutions had been suspended and that the heads of the ministries would take care of day-to-day business.

He warned all external partners not to interfere, announcing that land and air borders were closed until the situation had stabilised.

He added a night curfew would take effect from 22:00 until 05:00 local time until further notice.
Two neighbouring countries, Mali and Burkina Faso, have experienced coups triggered by jihadist uprisings in recent years.
In both countries the new military leaders have fallen out with France, the former colonial power, which also formerly ruled Niger.

The coup has been condemned by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union, the United States and the United Nations.

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