Ban closely following developments in Niger after reported coup

18 February 2010

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is closely following developments in Niger, where renegade soldiers reportedly stormed the presidential palace earlier today and the whereabouts of the West African nation’s leader remains unclear.

There are press reports that President Mamadou Tandja and his cabinet are being held by soldiers after gun battles in the capital, Niamey.

A statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson stated that the Secretary-General is receiving regular updates on the situation from his Special Representative for West Africa, Said Djinnit.

“It would be recalled that the Secretary-General has called on the stakeholders in Niger to swiftly revert to constitutional order in the settlement of the political crisis that developed in that country last year,” the statement added.

Today’s violence reportedly follows the collapse of talks between the Government and the opposition over a recently adopted referendum allowing President Tandja to hold power indefinitely.

News Tracker: Past Stories on This Issue

Niger: Secretary-General urges restraint ahead of referendum

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged the people of Niger to refrain from violence and exercise the utmost restraint, days before they vote on a controversial referendum to change the national constitution to allow the current President to run for a third term in office.