Niger’s coup leaders that toppled Mohamed Bazoum said late Sunday they would “prosecute” the ousted president for “high treason” and “undermining the security” of the country.
This is contained in a statement read out by a member of the junta on national television.
“The Nigerien government has so far gathered… evidence to prosecute the deposed president and his local and foreign accomplices before the competent national and international bodies for high treason and undermining the internal and external security of Niger,” said Colonel-Major Amadou Abdramane
Bazoum, 63, and his family have been held at the president’s official residence in Niamey since the coup on July 26, with international concern mounting over their conditions in detention.
According to Al Jazeera the charges against Bazoum were likely to “increase tensions between the military in Niger and the international community.
“This statement is an indication the military isn’t about to let Bazoum go. The charges they’ve announced could result in very serious repercussions for Bazoum.
“This could be an attempt by the military to further strengthen their hand in future negotiations.”
The spokesman for Niger’s military, Colonel Major Amadou Abdramane, in his statement on Sunday, dismissed concerns over Bazoum’s health, saying the deposed leader had seen his doctor the previous day.
“After this visit, the doctor raised no problems regarding the state of health of the deposed president and members of his family,” he said.
Abdramane went on to slam ECOWAS sanctions on Niger, saying the “illegal, inhumane and humiliating” measures were making it difficult for people to access medicines, food and electricity.
The military regime said the people of Niger “have been hard hit by the illegal, inhumane and humiliating sanctions imposed by ECOWAS,” according to one of the members of the regime, Colonel-Major Amadou Abdramane, who added that people were being deprived of medicines, food and electricity.
ECOWAS imposed sanctions on Niger in response to the coup and has not ruled out using force against the army officers who toppled the democratically elected Bazoum on July 26.