/ 19 February 2010

Zuma condemns Niger coup

President Jacob Zuma on Friday condemned the military coup in Niger, which he said posed a security threat to the region.

“I wish to add our voice in condemning the coup d’état that occurred in Niger on Thursday and wish to remind the Niger military that the African Union completely rejects any unconstitutional transfer of power,” Zuma said in a statement.

“It undermines the continent’s resolve to consolidate democracy and poses a peace and security threat in the region, as witnessed in Niger,” he said.

South Africa supports mediation efforts by the 15-nation regional bloc the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas), Zuma added.

“I call on the Niger military leadership to respect the Ecowas intervention and abide by the country’s constitutional principles on the transfer of political power,” he said.

Niger’s new military rulers deployed tanks and trucks mounted with machine guns around the presidential palace on Friday after toppling strongman Mamadou Tandja and sacking the government the day before in a deadly coup. — AFP