Niger jails soldiers over 2021 coup attempt

Niamey – A Niger court on Friday handed prison terms ranging from two to 20 years to several soldiers accused of attempting to carry out a coup in 2021. In March, Niger’s government said it had arrested several people for participating in a coup attempt, two days before incoming President Mohamed Bazoum was due to be sworn in. Around 60... Read more → The post Niger jails soldiers over 2021 coup attempt appeared first on African Insider.

Niger jails soldiers over 2021 coup attempt

Niamey – A Niger court on Friday handed prison terms ranging from two to 20 years to several soldiers accused of attempting to carry out a coup in 2021.

In March, Niger’s government said it had arrested several people for participating in a coup attempt, two days before incoming President Mohamed Bazoum was due to be sworn in.

Around 60 defendants – mostly soldiers but also some civilians – had been on trial since December in a special court in the capital Niamey for threatening the authority and security of the state.

Five soldiers deemed to be the leaders of the alleged putsch were sentenced to 20-year jail terms.

They included Captain Sani Gourouza, seen as the coup’s mastermind, former senior officer Hamadou Djibo, Lieutenant Abdrahamane Morou and warrant officers Adamou Seyni and Mahamadou Halidou.

Gourouza had fled to neighbouring Benin, where he was arrested in April 2021 and handed over to the Niger authorities.


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General Seydou Bague, a former chief of staff of Niger’s army, received a four-year jail term.

The court acquitted around 30 defendants for lack of evidence, including ex-interior minister Ousmane Cisse, other soldiers and civilians.

Prosecutors had sought prison sentences ranging from two to 30 years.

Niger has undergone multiple political crises and coups since gaining independence from France in 1960, in a region notorious for instability and junta-led governments.

In 2018, a military court sentenced eight soldiers and a civilian to prison terms of between five and 15 years for trying in 2015 to overthrow Niger’s leader at the time, Mahamadou Issoufou.

The opposition doubted the truthfulness of that alleged coup attempt.

West African neighbours Burkina Faso, Mali and Chad as well as Guinea are ruled by juntas after a succession of coups since 2020.

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Source: AFP 

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