HomeNewsNiger’s Junta Vows to Prosecute Deposed President for Treason Receive US

Niger’s Junta Vows to Prosecute Deposed President for Treason Receive US

The army junta that seized energy in Niger final month stated over the weekend that it could prosecute the deposed president for treason, whilst an middleman stated coup leaders had been open to talks with West African counties that had threatened to intervene militarily, the primary signal of a thaw after almost three weeks of rising tensions.

Since mutinous troopers detained President Mohamed Bazoum of Niger on July 26, they’ve stored him remoted in his personal residence in Niamey, the capital, along with his spouse and one in every of their sons; dissolved his authorities; and, in accordance with U.S. officers, vowed to kill him if West African nations intervened militarily.

On Sunday, a spokesman for the coup leaders, Col. Amadou Abdramane, stated that Mr. Bazoum would face costs of “excessive treason” and “undermining the inner and exterior safety of Niger” after the democratically elected president spoke with overseas leaders and worldwide organizations whereas in detention.

The coup in Niger final month set off one of the crucial extreme political crises in recent times in West Africa, following a sequence of army takeovers in a area already troubled by Islamist insurgencies, a few of the world’s most excessive results of local weather change and widespread poverty.

It has additionally raised questions on the way forward for Western help in Niger, which underneath Mr. Bazoum was a safety ally of nations like america and a well-liked recipient of funds from European nations hoping to stem migration to their continent. Greater than 2,500 Western troops, together with about 1,100 People, are posted in Niger to coach the nation’s army and assist monitor extremist teams affiliated with Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.

A West African regional bloc, the Financial Group of West African States, has stated it could take army motion towards Niger’s coup leaders if Mr. Bazoum will not be launched and reinstated.

However an ultimatum to take action has lengthy expired, and consultants doubt that nations already fighting home insecurity and underequipped militaries may mount a profitable operation towards a Nigerien army that has obtained years of Western coaching. In addition they warn {that a} regional battle may have devastating penalties in an space the place extremist teams have prolonged their grip in recent times.

President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria, the present chairman of the West African bloc, has stated that pressure could be used as a final resort. On Sunday, Niger’s coup leaders stated they had been open to dialogue with the bloc, in accordance with a spiritual determine from Nigeria who was obtained by the junta chief, Gen. Abdourahmane Tchiani, as a part of mediation talks.

From his personal residence, Mr. Bazoum has remained involved with overseas officers together with the U.S. secretary of state, Antony J. Blinken, in addition to some members of his authorities. He has known as on america to assist restore constitutional order in Niger, writing in an opinion essay printed earlier this month in The Washington Submit that the army junta was holding him hostage.

Mr. Bazoum additionally instructed Human Rights Watch final week that he was with out electrical energy and contemporary meals, and that these detaining him had refused to let his son, who he stated has a coronary heart situation, get medical remedy.

On Sunday, Colonel Abdramane, the junta’s spokesman, stated the brand new authorities had gathered sufficient proof to prosecute Mr. Bazoum based mostly on his communications with overseas heads of state and worldwide organizations.

He gave no particulars on the allegations, nor a date for a trial. Below Niger’s penal code, treason is punishable by loss of life.

Colonel Abdramane additionally stated that a health care provider had visited Mr. Bazoum and his household on Saturday and had not raised alarms concerning the household’s well being, a declare that would not be independently verified.

Hours earlier, hundreds of junta supporters had thronged the nation’s largest stadium for the second weekend in a row, as a well-liked pro-military singer gave a live performance in tribute to the nation’s new leaders.

Praising the brand new common in energy, the crowds sang “Say Tchiani,” or “We want Tchiani” in Hausa, one of many principal languages spoken in Niger. The tune was as soon as a signature of Mr. Bazoum’s supporters, who chanted “Say Bazoum” throughout his profitable 2020 presidential bid.

On Sunday, there was no point out of the democratically elected president within the stadium’s stands.

Omar Hama Saley contributed reporting from Niamey, Niger.

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