Niger coup: President Mohamed Bazoum in good health, says France

Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum is in good health after being taken captive by his own presidential guard, the French foreign minister has said.

Catherine Colonna told AFP news agency the coup was not “final”.

She said Mr Bazoum had spoken to Emmanuel Macron and added there was a “way out” for the coup plotters if they listened to the global community.

On Thursday, coup supporters attacked the headquarters of the ousted president’s party.

They set it on fire, 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 detained Mr Bazoum on Wednesday. Russia has joined other countries and the UN in calling for his release.

The 64-year-old was elected as Niger’s president two years ago, and has been 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 strongly condemned the coup.

 

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