General Abdourahmane Tchiani has declared himself as the new leader of Niger after a dramatic coup.
Also known as Omar Tchiani, he staged a takeover which started on Wednesday when the presidential guards unit he led seized the country’s leader.
This shatters Niger’s first peaceful and democratic transition since independence in 1960.
President Mohamed Bazoum is thought to be in good health, and still held captive by his own guards, the BBC reports.
Meanwhile, the military junta had banned protests in the country.
According to the BBC. more than four million people need humanitarian assistance.
Niger President, Mohamed Bazoum, was removed from power by the coup plotters.
A group of soldiers who appeared on the West African nation’s national television late on Wednesday, hours after the president was held in the presidential Palace, announced the coup.
Reading from a statement, Colonel Amadou Abdramane, seated and flanked by nine other officers, 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.”
Abdramane said Niger’s borders had been closed and a nationwide curfew had been declared.
He said all institutions of the republic had been suspended.
According to Reuters, the soldiers warned against any foreign intervention, adding that they would respect Bazoum’s well-being.
The military takeover marked the seventh coup in the West and Central Africa region since 2020.