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African Union Suspends Niger After Coup


The African Union has suspended Niger, a day after mutinous soldiers ousted the country's president and seized control in a coup.

At a meeting in Addis Ababa Friday, the chair of the AU Peace and Security Council banned Niger from the body's activities and demanded a return to constitutional order.

Niger's new military leader, Salou Djibo, made his first public appearance Friday and promised to set up a consultative council for decision making. After initially dissolving the entire government, the military said government business will be handled by heads of ministries for the time being.

Witnesses say the capital, Niamey, was calm Friday, with businesses and government offices operating as usual. The military government also reopened the country's borders and lifted a nationwide curfew.

Armed soldiers stormed the presidential palace Thursday and seized President Mamadou Tandja before suspending the constitution. The junta confirmed that it was holding Mr. Tandja in Niamey and said he was in good condition.

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