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Niger: access to the presidency in Niamey blocked

The President of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum, delivers his speech at the New Global Financial   -  
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Ludovic Marin/AP


Access to the Nigerian presidency in Niamey was blocked on Wednesday morning by members of the presidential guard for an unspecified reason, AFP learnt from a source close to the presidency.

Access to the residence of the President of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum, and to the offices of the presidential complex was forbidden.

On the other hand, no special military force was visible in the area where the presidency is located, traffic was normal and no gunshots were heard, an AFP journalist noted.

Niger, France's privileged partner in the Sahel region, which is plagued by jihadist violence in several parts of its territory, is led by democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum, who is in power until April 2021.

The history of this vast, poor, desert country is punctuated by coups d'état.

There have been four such coups since the independence of this former French colony in 1960: the first in April 1974 against President Diori Hamani, and the most recent in February 2010, which toppled President Mahamadou Tandja. Not to mention the numerous attempted putsches.

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