(Thumbnail image: Independent Media Center)

 

Niger’s president has been ousted in a military coup that has left several of its soldiers dead.

 

And though strong public support backed the coup—many in the international community wonder what will happen next.

 

Al Jazeera English reports it's been surprisingly peaceful in the African nation's capital since the military takeover.

 

"The capital, Niamey, has been largely quiet since Thursday afternoon, when witnesses say they heard gunfire and explosions in the area around the presidential palace. Throughout the day, residents have been gathering to see evidence of the military intervention. But, around the city, the situation is being described, right now, as calm." 

 

The coup comes after the now-ousted president changed the constitution's rule on term limits back in August so he could stay in power.

 

A French journalist tells CNN almost nothing has changed for Niger citizens.

 

"The children are going to school, the shops are open....The people are very happy....The coup ends a nine-month debate that blocked out all other subjects. We have gone through so many coups that it doesn't really affect us anymore."

 

The U.S., the European Union, and the African Union, have denounced the coup and are calling for immediate elections. A reporter for Voice of America suggests the coup isn’t a surprise, but speculates on the military's intentions.

 

"I think the international communities are condemning, but everybody knows that, there's a lot of people were thinking that this may happen in Niger. What's going to happen next? What's the military going to do? Nobody knows because sometimes they take over, they promise things they don't do." 

 

One leader of a party against the ousted government disagrees, telling the BBC's Network Africa the military can be trusted.

 

"They behave like they say - they are not interested in political leadership, they will fight to save the Nigerien people from any kind of tyranny."

 

An African expert tells Iran’s state-owned Press TV Niger citizens need to have more of a say in their own government.

 

"I think the constitution has got to be followed. We've got to have elections very soon." ... "And hopefully for the Nigerien people to be able to see a trickle-down of some of the wealth that we've been talking about, and for them to start participating in good governments."

 

Finally, AllAfrica.com reports a civil society member finds the coup extreme, but needed.

 

"I am opposed to using military force to unseat President Tandja and will continue fighting democratically no matter what happened at the palace today. But this coup attempt was inevitable. If you tighten a noose long enough, the choked will cut it loose."


So, what do you think? Will the coup bring a positive change to Niger?

 

Writer: Brandon Twitchell

Producer: Newsy Staff

Niger Coup: Blessing in Disguise?

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Feb 22, 2010

Niger Coup: Blessing in Disguise?

(Thumbnail image: Independent Media Center)

 

Niger’s president has been ousted in a military coup that has left several of its soldiers dead.

 

And though strong public support backed the coup—many in the international community wonder what will happen next.

 

Al Jazeera English reports it's been surprisingly peaceful in the African nation's capital since the military takeover.

 

"The capital, Niamey, has been largely quiet since Thursday afternoon, when witnesses say they heard gunfire and explosions in the area around the presidential palace. Throughout the day, residents have been gathering to see evidence of the military intervention. But, around the city, the situation is being described, right now, as calm." 

 

The coup comes after the now-ousted president changed the constitution's rule on term limits back in August so he could stay in power.

 

A French journalist tells CNN almost nothing has changed for Niger citizens.

 

"The children are going to school, the shops are open....The people are very happy....The coup ends a nine-month debate that blocked out all other subjects. We have gone through so many coups that it doesn't really affect us anymore."

 

The U.S., the European Union, and the African Union, have denounced the coup and are calling for immediate elections. A reporter for Voice of America suggests the coup isn’t a surprise, but speculates on the military's intentions.

 

"I think the international communities are condemning, but everybody knows that, there's a lot of people were thinking that this may happen in Niger. What's going to happen next? What's the military going to do? Nobody knows because sometimes they take over, they promise things they don't do." 

 

One leader of a party against the ousted government disagrees, telling the BBC's Network Africa the military can be trusted.

 

"They behave like they say - they are not interested in political leadership, they will fight to save the Nigerien people from any kind of tyranny."

 

An African expert tells Iran’s state-owned Press TV Niger citizens need to have more of a say in their own government.

 

"I think the constitution has got to be followed. We've got to have elections very soon." ... "And hopefully for the Nigerien people to be able to see a trickle-down of some of the wealth that we've been talking about, and for them to start participating in good governments."

 

Finally, AllAfrica.com reports a civil society member finds the coup extreme, but needed.

 

"I am opposed to using military force to unseat President Tandja and will continue fighting democratically no matter what happened at the palace today. But this coup attempt was inevitable. If you tighten a noose long enough, the choked will cut it loose."


So, what do you think? Will the coup bring a positive change to Niger?

 

Writer: Brandon Twitchell

Producer: Newsy Staff

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