Soldiers in Niger announced on state television that they overthrew the country’s democratically elected president, citing concerns about the economy and security as reasons for the coup.
All institutions were suspended and security forces were overseeing the situation, the soldiers said late Wednesday evening, The Associated Press reported.
Members of Niger’s presidential guard detained President Mohamed Bazoum earlier in the day.
“This is as a result of the continuing degradation of the security situation, the bad economic and social governance,” air force Col. Major Amadou Abdramane said in the video as he sat at a table in front of nine other military officials.
Land and air borders are closed and a curfew is in place until the situation stabilizes, the mutineers said.
Bazoum, who was elected two years ago, tweeted Thursday morning, as translated from French: “The hard-won achievements will be safeguarded. All Nigerians who love democracy and freedom will see to it.”
Both the United States and France have military bases in Niger and have condemned the coup, according to the BBC.
Bazoum is an important Western ally in the fight against Islamic extremism in the region.