Niamey: Heavy firing was heard near Niger’s presidency in the capital, Niamey, in the beginning, hours of Wednesday, inciting fears of a coup effort and further uncertainty just two days before President-elect Mohamed Bazoum is due to be sworn into office.
According to news, Heavy shooting started around 3 am local time (02:00 GMT) and continued for about 30 minutes.
The silence had returned by about 4 am. In short video clips posted on social media, only numerous seconds in length, irregular bursts of gunfire could be heard in the darkness. It was not likely to independently verify the place and timing of the videos.
The administration of Niger was not immediately available for comment.
The US Embassy in Niamey put out a security alert saying it would be closed on Wednesday “due to gunshots heard near our neighbourhood.”
“All personnel are urged to stay home until further notice,” it stated.
A Twitter user tweeted, “Normalcy restored in #Niamey capital of #NigerRepubthe lic after the attempted coup failed earlier today, just days ahead of the Presidential Inauguration of the newly elected President, Mohamed Bazoum.”
Another user stated, “Reports tonight of gunfire and rumours of mutiny in #Niamey, just a week after terrorists killed 100+ & just days before
Just over a week ago, criminals on motorcycles hit a series of villages located near the border with Mali, departing at least 137 individuals dead in the inevitable violence to strike Niger in recent memory.
Those strikes came on the same day that the representative court-certified Bazoum’s elective victory.
In January, at least 100 people were killed in villages, the equivalent day that Niger published the administrative election would go to a second round on February 21.
Niger’s armed forces, whose number 25,000 are poorly implemented and trained. The project is to double this to 50,000 men within five years, but funding is key. Last year, violent demonstrations broke out over a military obtainment scandal officially estimated to have cost nearly $55m.