February 19, 2010

A Coup in Niger Adds to Africa's Instability

Alex Perry, Time

AP Photo

The military coup that deposed Mamadou Tandja, the President of Niger, on Thursday could be seen as yet another putsch in a remote West African country, save for two things contributing to a growing instability in the region — cocaine and al-Qaeda. The coup is just the latest in a series in West Africa, making the region an increasing focus for Western governments in their ongoing battles against terrorism and drugs.

The coup itself was over just hours after it began Thursday when shots were heard at the presidential palace in the dusty capital of Niamey, where Tandja was holding a cabinet meeting. Late that night, a group of army officers calling themselves the Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy appeared on national television and announced the suspension...

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TAGGED: Niger, Mamadou Tandja, President

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