File: AU PSC in session

AU PSC Sounds Alarm on Military Coup Resurgence

ADDIS ABABA – African Union’s Peace and Security Council (PSC) has raised deep concerns over the resurgence of military coups in the continent.

The council sounded the alarm after Niger’s army ousted President Mohamed Bazoum from power on Wednesday.

In a communique, the PSC said it was deeply concerned over “the alarming resurgence of military coups which undermine democracy, peace, security, and stability” in Africa.

The council also reiterated its zero tolerance for unconstitutional changes of government in a communique adopted at its meeting on Friday.

PSC “will take necessary action”

The meeting discussed the situation in Niger shortly after the army head of the presidential guards unit Gen Abdourahmane Tchiani declared himself Niger’s new leader. He said insecurity, economic woes, and corruption led him to seize power.

However, the AU PSC condemned “in strongest terms possible, the military coup, which resulted in the ousting of a democratically elected President”.

The council also demanded the army release all prisoners including President Bazoum and restore constitutional authority unconditionally, within 15 days.

“Should the rights of political detainees not be respected,” the AU PSC warned it “will take necessary action, including punitive measures against the perpetrators.”

Bazoum is currently thought to be in good health, and still held captive by his own guards, per media reports.

Awaits Outcomes of Ecowas Summit

The West African region has recently been experiencing a wave of military takeovers, toppling governments in countries including Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso.

On Sunday, the region’s economic bloc Ecowas will hold an Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government over the situation in Niger.

The move was welcomed by the members of the AU PSC, who requested the AU Commission chairperson to continue closely monitoring the situation, work with Ecowas, and “brief the Council, as soon as possible.”

The council “reaffirms the solidarity and resolute support of the AU to the people of Niger, and decides to remain actively seized of the matter,” the communique reads.

Life in the capital Niamey has largely returned to normal with markets and shops open, but civil servants have been told to go home, according to media reports.