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Soldiers Name New Leader in Niger, International Community Opposes Coup

Soldiers in Niger have named a new military leader following Thursday's coup against  President Mamadou Tandja. Squadron chief Salou Djibo leads Niger's new Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy. He commands a heavy artillery unit that played a key role in Thursday's attack on the presidential palace. President Tandja was detained while holding a cabinet meeting.

Attempted Coup Underway in Niger's Capital

Witnesses reported heavy gunfire started about midday local time. State radio played traditional music, and made no mention of the coup attempt.  Soldiers and armored vehicles were seen near the palace and nearby streets were deserted.    Official sources in the capital Niamey tell VOA's Hausa Service that people have been taken to the hospital. Government ministers were scheduled to gather at the palace for a meeting about that time.

ECOWAS Resumes Talks on Niger's Political Crisis

The mediator appointed by the West African regional bloc ECOWAS has been meeting with a coalition of Niger's opposition and civil society groups in Abuja in a bid to find a solution to the West African country's constitutional crisis. A meeting involving a 41-member opposition delegation and ECOWAS-appointed mediator, former Nigerian military ruler Abdulsalam Abubakar, explored ways of narrowing differences between Niger's government and the opposition before a wider stakeholder forum at a later date. Abubakar held talks on Monday with a 22-member government delegation

Niger Issues Arrest Warrant for Opposition Leader

Niger has issued arrest warrants for two prominent members of the opposition, including the president's main-rival Mahamadou Issoufou, who has returned to Niger to face charges.  Just weeks after Niger went ahead with legislative elections boycotted by the opposition, the government has issued arrest warrants for two prominent opposition leaders.  Mahamadou Issoufou and Hama Amadou are accused of money-laundering while traveling abroad. Issoufou, leader of the Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism, has returned to Niger to fight the charges. Issoufou made a sho