Niger is a country that rarely gets into the news, and when it does it is even more rarely for the right reasons. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about the situation there today:

A coup attempt is under way in Niger with the country’s President Mamadou Tandja described by a senior French official is ‘not in a good position’.

Smoke was seen rising from Niger’s presidential palace in what an intelligence officer said was a coup attempt President Mamadou Tandja’s guardsmen were trying to put down.

President Tandja, ruler of the uranium exporting central African nation for a decade, has come under heavy domestic and international criticism for last year orchestrating a reshuffle of the constitution to entrench and extend his power.

He dissolved parliament and orchestrated a constitutional reform in 2009 that gave him added powers and extended his term beyond his second five-year mandate, which expired in December.

The constitutional referendum in August, condemned internationally and at home, eliminated many of the remaining checks on Tandja’s authority, abolished term limits, and gave him an initial three more years in power without an election. (From RTE. Read the Whole Article)

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