A mob of angry protesters stormed the homes and offices of some politicians in Niamey, the capital city of the Niger Republic. According to eyewitnesses and videos shared on social media, They ransacked and looted their belongings, including furniture, electronics, clothes, and money. They also burned and destroyed cars and other assets.
The mob also attacked some politicians, accusing them of corruption and poor management. A video showed some women slapping and insulting a female politician, while another video showed the crowd dragging a male politician out of his car and beating him. Some bystanders who intervened to stop the violence saved both politicians.
A disagreement between President Bazoum and Mahamadou Issoufou, who succeeded him in April 2021 after serving two terms in office, led to the coup attempt. Bazoum accused Issoufou of trying to undermine his authority and interfere in his affairs, while Issoufou denied any involvement in the coup plot.
The coup plotters claimed that their goals were to bring back democracy and put an end to the country’s insecurity as a result of Islamist militants. They also demanded that President Bazoum resign and release some political prisoners, including Hama Amadou, a former prime minister and opposition leader who was jailed for alleged involvement in a baby trafficking scandal.
However, President Bazoum refused to step down and said that he had the support of the majority of the army and the people. He also said that he was ready to negotiate with the coup plotters if they surrendered peacefully. The president of Benin, Patrice Talon, offered to mediate the crisis and urged all parties to respect the constitutional order.
As of July 28, 2023, the situation in the Niger Republic was still tense and uncertain, with reports of sporadic clashes and gunfire in Niamey. The West African bloc (ECOWAS), the African Union, the United States, and the United Nations condemned the coup attempt and called for calm and dialogue. They also expressed their solidarity with President Bazoum and the people of the Niger Republic.
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