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Nigerien Soldiers Arrested For Attempted Coup

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Soldiers were arrested in Niger after an “attempted coup” early Wednesday, a security source said after gunfire broke out in the capital Niamey, adding “the situation is under control”.

Residents reported hearing overnight bursts of gunfire near the presidency, just two days before Mohamed Bazoum is due to take the helm of the coup-prone country.

“There were some arrests among a few members of the army who are behind this attempted coup,” said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“The Presidential Guard retaliated, preventing this group of soldiers from approaching the presidential palace,” said the source.

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A resident of Niamey’s Plateau district, which includes the president’s official residence and offices, told AFP: “It was around 3.

00 am, we heard shots from heavy and light weapons and it lasted 15 minutes before stopping, followed by shots from light weapons.”

“The gunfire lasted about 20 minutes,” another resident said.

A third resident spoke of “intense shooting, with heavy and light weapons”.

Online newspaper actuniger.com reported that calm had returned by around 4.00 am.

In short video clips posted on social networks, only several seconds in length, sporadic bursts of gunfire could be heard in the pitch dark.

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It was not yet possible to independently verify the location and timing of the videos.

The alleged coup comes ahead of Bazoum’s scheduled inauguration on Friday — the first elected transition in Niger’s history since independence from France in 1960.

His victory in the second round of the election on February 2 was confirmed by the constitutional court this month.

The results were contested by Bazoum’s rival, former president Mahamane Ousmane, who claimed he was the real winner.

Ousmane had called for “peaceful marches” across the country, but a planned opposition protest Wednesday in Niamey was banned a day earlier by authorities.

Niger is the poorest country in the world, according to the benchmark of the UN’s 189-nation Human Development Index.

It has suffered four coups in its history, most recently a February 2010 putsch which toppled then president Mamadou Tandja.

The Sahel country has also recently been struck by repeated jihadist attacks as Islamist movements have spilled over from neighbouring Mali and Nigeria.

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Africa

Rwanda lawmakers approve swahili as the official Language of the country, dropping french completely.

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Rwanda lawmakers approve swahili as the official Language of the country, dropping french completely and sidelining english

People said: “This is good,really good but such a move leavez the Belgian (the former coloniser) and French authorities furious.

I will not be surprised if a few months from France imposes sanctions on Rwanda or increases its funding to opposition parties or releases a report on Kagame’s government poor service delivery and human rights violations.

Rwanda is setting an example for the rest of the African countries. Its about time we drop the colonial legacy and go back to our roots. After all there is no European with an African name or African language as their official language…..Good job Rwanda, wake the rest of the sleeping countries up.

This is great development, if Rwanda still hold on that colonial tight with France, they would not have gone this far, France is evil blood suckered, they keep developing and building their country, But most Country they colonize are living in objective poverty, they dominated their entire existence. The African Union should rise and liberate the African from France and western imperialism.

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Protect democracy, enact Electoral Act Amendment Bill, UK urges Nigeria

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The United Kingdom (UK) has urged Nigeria to ensure quick passage and enactment of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill currently pending before the National Assembly.

UK’s Minister for Africa James Duddridge gave the advice in an interview in Abuja.

Duddridge said that passing the amendment bill would build more confidence in the country’s electoral process.

According to him, confidence in election results plays a very important role in democratic governance.

“It is very important. I will meet the senate and I will be asking when the Electoral Act Amendment Bill is going to be passed.

“You Know, democracy is not a static thing. It has to evolve; you have to make elections increasingly secure.

“So, I think it is really important to make an Act that will give the Nigerian people and the international community greater confidence that the elections are free, fair, and a reflection of what the people voted.

If you have not got that in actuality or perception, democracy starts to crumble and we see where that leads.

“Democracy is the main pillar alongside a capitalist free market that drives social progress and allows us to function,” he said.

According to him, one of the components that build confidence in the electoral process is the electronic transmission of results such that the final results declared correspond with each of the local results.

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He said that though the UK was interested in seeing Nigeria’s democracy become stronger, it could only play an advisory role and not dictate to Nigeria what it should do.

“We can offer practical advice on election processes working with Non-Governmental Organisations and youth groups to make sure that young people are not only more likely to be registered for elections but also that their voices are heard.

“In the UK parliament, we have got members of parliament in their 20s and it is the richer for it.

“We wouldn’t want a parliament full of 20-year-olds.

“Equally, we do not want a parliament full of 70 and 80-year-olds.

“We need a balance to reflect society and everyone brings different experiences,” he said.

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Support Nigeria, Relocate AFRICOM HQ To Africa –President Buhari Appeals to US

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The United States has been urged to consider relocating the headquarters of the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) from Stuttgart, Germany to Africa and near the Theatre of Operation.

The United States has been urged to consider relocating the headquarters of the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) from Stuttgart, Germany to Africa and near the Theatre of Operation.

The OBSERVERS TIMES gathered that the appeal was made by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, April 27, during a virtual meeting with US secretary of state, Anthony Blinken.

President Buhari has urged the United States to consider relocating the headquarters of the US Africa Command to Africa. Photo credit: Femi Adesina Source: Facebook Bashir Ahmad, a personal assistant on new media to the president, in a tweet via his verified Twitter handle, @BashirAhmaad confirmed the development.

The Nigerian leader in a statement by presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, explained that the move was necessary as part of efforts to address the issue of insecurity in Nigeria and other countries in Africa.
According to Adesina, the support of important and strategic partners like the United States cannot be overstated. He noted that the growing security challenges in West, Central Africa, Gulf of Guinea, Lake Chad region and Sahel, underscores the need for the United States to relocate the defence command. AFRICOM is responsible for military relations with nations and regional organisations in Africa. It also focuses on addressing security challenges affecting African countries.

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