October 22, 2010 / 7:56 AM / in 10 years

Niger junta confirms it crushed coup attempt

France's President Nicolas Sarkozy (L) welcomes Nigerian President Djibo Salou as he arrives at the Elysee Palace in Paris for a meeting between French government and African leaders, July 13, 2010. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

NIAMEY (Reuters) - Niger’s military government confirmed late on Thursday that it had put down a coup attempt earlier this month but said the transition to civilian rule would go ahead as planned.

“The situation is under control and investigations according to the rules of military justice are going ahead to establish the implications of this,” junta spokesman Colonel Goukoye Abdoul Karim told state television.

Last week Niger announced that it had arrested the former number two official in the junta, Colonel Abdoulaye Badie, and three other officers.

Niger, a major uranium producer, is due to hold elections in early 2011 to return the country to civilian rule.

A military coup in February deposed President Mamadou Tandja, who had defied domestic and international criticism and changed the constitution to extend his own mandate and increase his presidential powers.

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