Niger soldiers stage coup,seize president,sack govt

Niger's new military junta announced it had dissolved the government after a coup that toppled President Mamadou Tandja in the impoverished but uranium-rich west African country.

Written by Agencies | Abuja | Published: February 19, 2010 9:09:41 am

Niger’s new military junta announced on Friday it had dissolved the government after a coup that toppled President Mamadou Tandja in the impoverished but uranium-rich west African country.

The Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy (CSRD) announced that its head would be squadron leader Salou Djibo,whose heavily armed unit played a key role in yesterday’s coup.

“The government is dissolved,” said a statement signed by Djibo and read by an unnamed military officer on state television.

“The CSRD informs the population that public business will be run by secretaries of ministries and local government administrators.”

Soldiers in Niger ousted Tandja amid gunbattles that killed at least three troops yesterday.

“On this day February 18,we the defence and security forces,decided to take our responsibilities in ending the tense political situation,” said CSRD spokesman colonel Goukoye Abdoulkarim.

Commander of Niger’s elite military unit and former member of the junta behind the 1999 coup,colonel Dijibrilla Hima Hamidou popularly known as “Pele” flanked the spokesman who announced the take over.

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