A military junta, the Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy, captured Niger’s President Mamadou Tandja and his Cabinet on Thursday in a coup d’etat welcomed by opposition leaders and potentially by a population frustrated with the government, which critics say has stayed in power past its legal term.

The African Union, on the other hand, has condemned the coup, though many believe it could offer the possibility of elections that were postponed by Tandja when he changed the constitution to allow his government to remain in power indefinitely. –JCL

The Guardian:

The junta that seized power in a military coup in Niger today identified its leader as squadron chief Salou Djibo.

Calling itself the Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy (CSRD), the junta yesterday stormed Niger’s presidential palace in broad daylight. They captured president Mamadou Tandja and his ministers in a four-hour gunbattle that left at least three people dead.

In a televised announcement, a spokesman for the plotters said Niger’s constitution had been suspended and all state institutions dissolved. The CSRD imposed a curfew and closed the country’s borders.

Read more

Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig