The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has condemned the coup d’etat in Niger.
A statement posted on the website of the ECOWAS Commission said the bloc received the news of the military incursion with “shock and consternation”.
“ECOWAS condemns, in the strongest terms, the attempt to seize power by force and calls on the coup plotters to free the democratically-elected President of the Republic immediately and without any condition,” the commission said.
It said it would hold all those involved in the plot responsible for the security and safety of the president, his family, members of the government, and the general public.
The commission added that the international community would do the same.
A group of soldiers who appeared on the West African nation’s national television late on Wednesday said the Niger President Mohamed Bazoum had been removed from power.
The soldiers made the assertion hours after the presidential guard had the president under house arrest in the presidential palace, a move typical of military coups.
The group, which calls itself the National Council for the Safeguarding of the Country, announced, on state television, that they had overthrown the Bazoum government because of the country’s deteriorating security situation.
The group, however, said it remained committed to its engagements with the international and national communities.
Based on media reports, the soldiers have suspended all institutions and put security forces in charge.
They urged external partners not to interfere.