Zuma condemns Niger coup

Friday, February 19, 2010

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma on Friday condemned the military coup in Niger.

Zuma joined the African Union (UN), the Economic Community of West African countries (Ecowas) as well as other African leaders in condemning the coup that toppled President Mamadou Tandja's government on Thursday.

"I wish to add our voice in condemning the coup d'etat that occurred in Niger yesterday and wish to remind the Nigeran military that the African Union completely rejects any unconstitutional transfer of power as it undermines the continent's resolve to consolidate democracy and pose peace and security threat in the region, as witnessed in Niger yesterday," said Zuma.

Zuma said government fully supported the move by Ecowas to send a mission to the West African nation to assess the situation in efforts to bring about a solution.

"I call on the Nigeran military leadership to respect the Ecowas intervention and abide by the country's constitutional principles on the transfer of political power," said Zuma.

Tandja was seized when a group of soldiers in armored vehicles stormed the presidential palace with gunfire and said they had dissolved the government.