Supporters of a coup in Niger have attacked the headquarters of the ousted president’s party, setting it on fire and stoning and burning cars outside. The small group of arsonists had broken away from a larger show of support for the coup leaders outside parliament, where Russian flags were on show.
The army has now given its backing to the troops who took President Mohamed Bazoum captive on Wednesday, reports the BBC. Russia joined other countries and the UN in calling for Ba- zoum’s release. The 64-year-old, who was elected as Niger’s president two years ago, is a key Western ally in the fight against Islamist militants in West Africa.
The US and France, the former colonial power, both have military bases in the uranium-rich country – and have condemned the coup. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called up Bazoum promising Washington’s “unwavering support”. Bazoum took to Twitter yesterday morning to issue a defiant statement: “The hard-won achievements will be safeguarded. All Nigeriens who love democracy and freedom will see to it.”