Niger coup leader to try ousted President Mohamed Bazoum

Niger's coup leaders will try ousted President Mohamed Bazoum for high treason and undermining state security.

Niger's President Mohamed Bazoum, seen here on June 23, 2022, was ousted in a coup by the presidential guard (Photo: Sia Kambou/AFPGetty Images)

The regime says it has gathered evidence that will be used to prosecute Bazoum for major treason and undermining Niger's internal and external security.

President Bazoum has been detained at Niger's presidential residence since July 26, 2023

Speaking on Niger national television on Sunday (08/13/2023), Colonel-Major Amadou Abdramane, warned that his party also plans to prosecute Bazoum's accomplices at home and abroad before competent national and international bodies.

President Bazoum has been detained at Niger's presidential residence along with his son and wife since the day of the coup July 26, 2023.

Military leaders say he did not take over Bazoum's residence and he is still free to communicate with the outside world.

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Bazoum is claimed to have received regular visits from his doctor.

A consultation has taken place on Saturday (12/08/2023), according to an adviser to the ousted president.

"After this visit, doctors found no problems related to the health condition of the deposed president and his family members," the junta added.

The ousted leader said he had been held without electricity and had only rice and pasta to eat.

The generals who staged the Niger coup also denounced sanctions imposed by the West African regional bloc ECOWAS, which has suspended financial and commercial transactions with Niger.

They called the sanctions illegal, inhumane, and shameful.

Niger's regime says the sanctions have left the country short of medicine, food, and electricity.

West Africa approves troop deployment to Niger

West African leaders have approved the deployment of a standby force to restore constitutional order in Niger.

This was stated by Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara on Thursday (10/8/2023). He said this intervention would be carried out as soon as possible.

The regional bloc Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has not provided details on the troops to be deployed or a timetable for action against the military officers who staged the Niger coup.

However, upon his return to Abidjan from an emergency meeting in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, Ouattara said military chiefs would hold another conference to resolve matters related to the Niger coup.

"They at least have the approval of the Conference of Heads of State to start the operation as soon as possible," he said.

Ouattara said Ivory Coast would provide a battalion of 850 to 1,100 men with soldiers from Nigeria and Benin to Niger.

According to him, other countries will join their actions.

"We are determined to return President Bazoum to his functions," he said.

Earlier, in Abuja, ECOWAS Commission President Omar Touray had announced the deployment of the bloc's troops.

U.S. calls for a nonviolent solution

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for a nonviolent solution to reverse the Niger coup.

He praised ECOWAS' determination to explore all options for a peaceful resolution of the Niger crisis.

"The bloc plays a key role in making clear the importance of returning to constitutional order, and we strongly support the leadership of ECOWAS and work on this," he told reporters on Thursday.

France also gives its full support to all conclusions reached by ECOWAS.

However, even as the summit progressed, Niger's new military rulers moved to consolidate their positions and signaled further defiance by appointing a new government.

The 21-member cabinet will be headed by Prime Minister Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine, a civilian, with generals from the new military governing council leading the defense ministry and interior ministry.

The coup leaders had previously ignored the deadline set by ECOWAS to return to Bazoum on Sunday (6/8/2023), thus facing the possibility of military intervention.

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