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    A Leading Politician Says Victory for Niger’s Coup Leaders Would Be ‘The End of Democracy’ in Africa

    A Leading Politician Says Victory for Niger's Coup Leaders Would Be ‘The End of Democracy' in Africa

    , Niger — If mutinous soldiers who ousted Niger's president succeed, it will threaten democracy and security across the region and the continent, a high-ranking member of Bazoum's political party warned in an interview with The Associated Press.

    Boubacar Sabo said President Mohamed Bazoum had been “kidnapped” by members of the presidential guard who overthrew him on July 26 and have since kept him under house arrest.

    “What is happening in Niger, if it succeeds, is the end of democracy in . It's over. … If we fight today, it is to prevent these kind of things from happening and to ensure a future for our continent,” Sabo said on Thursday. Sabo is deputy secretary general of Bazoum's Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism.

    In a region rife with coups, Niger was seen as one of the last democratic countries that Western could partner with to beat back a growing jihadi insurgency linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group. The overthrow of the president nearly one month ago has been a big blow to the United States, France and other European nations, which have invested hundreds of millions of dollars of assistance into training Niger's army and — in the case of the French — conducting joint military operations.

    Analysts and locals say the coup was triggered by an internal struggle between Bazoum and the head of the presidential guard, Gen. Abdourahmane Tchiani, who says he's…

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