Niger Military Junta Names New Leader
By Agency Reporter, Published: Friday, 19 Feb 2010
New Niger military leader, Colonel Abdoul Karim Goukoye Karimou
Niger‘s military junta that has seized power of the West African nation said Friday its leader is Squadron Chief Salou Djibo.
The soldiers said in a statement that government business will be handled by heads of ministries, for the time being.
Armed soldiers carried out the coup Thursday, saying they were suspending the country‘s constitution and dissolving all state institutions.
Regional blocks, including the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States, have condemned the coup.
Voice of America reports that a spokesman for the military junta , Colonel Abdoul Karim Goukoye Karimou, said on state television Thursday the military had to take responsibility to end the country‘s tense political situation.
President Mamadou Tandja recently changed the constitution to extend his rule in office, a move that drew widespread criticism at home and abroad.
The military spokesman said the junta wants to transform Niger into an example of democracy and good governance.
Meanwhile calm has returned to Niger’s capital, Niamey, as lightly armed soldiers carried out a small number of patrols in the city on Friday. Reuters reports that markets, banks and schools opened as usual, a day after troops staged a military coup.