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Niger junta announces plans for elections

Niger’s military junta, which seized power in a coup this week, has announced plans to hold elections.

“Our intention is to stabilize the political situation… We plan to organize elections, but first we have to stabilize the situation,” one of the leaders of Thursday’s coup, Colonel Djibrilla Hamidou Hima, told journalists on Saturday.

Thousands of people have rallied in support of the coup that ousted President Mamadou Tandja, whose popularity plummeted last year following a constitutional amendment allowing him to stay in power beyond a 10-year limit.

The international community has condemned the coup and called for a peaceful transition to civilian rule.

The African Union suspended Niger’s membership on Friday.

Meanwhile, the United States has offered to lift sanctions if the junta shows it is prepared to make the transition.

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