On Sunday, the leaders of the coup in Niger announced their intention to bring legal action against the ousted President Mohamed Bazoum. They plan to charge him with “high treason” and accuse him of “undermining the security” of the nation.
The regime stated that it has gathered evidence that it would use “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,” as per a statement read out by Colonel-Major Amadou Abdramane on national television.
The coup leaders have kept Bazoum with his son and wife in his presidential residence since the day of the coup. Military leaders stated that the residence of Bazoum was not taken over by them and that he was granted the freedom to communicate with the outside world. They added that a doctor has been regularly visiting Bazoum.
As per an adviser to the ousted president, a consultation with a doctor took place on Saturday.
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“After this visit, the doctor raised no problems regarding the state of health of the deposed president and members of his family,” the military stated.
The ousted leader stated that he was kept “hostage” without electricity and was only given rice and pasta to eat.
Niger regime calls sanctions ‘illegal, inhumane and humiliating’
The generals also criticised the “illegal, inhumane and humiliating sanctions” imposed by the West African regional bloc ECOWAS, which has suspended commercial and financial transactions with Niger.
The military regime stated that the people of Niger “have been hard hit by the illegal, inhumane and humiliating sanctions imposed by ECOWAS,” as per one of the members of the regime, Colonel Major Amadou Abdramane, who further stated that people are not being provided electricity, food and medicines.
The comments were made just hours after coup leader General Abdourahamane Tiani held talks with religious mediators, as the former indicated that his regime was ready for a diplomatic breakthrough.
Tiani “said their doors were open to explore diplomacy and peace in resolving the matter”, stated Sheikh Bala Lau, an Islamic scholar and leader of the largest Salafi movement in Nigeria, one day after talks were held by his Nigerian Muslim delegation in the capital Niamey.
Tiani “claimed the coup was well intended” and that the plotters “struck to stave off an imminent threat that would have affected” Nigeria along with Niger, as per Lau’s statement.
But Tiani said it was “painful” that ECOWAS had issued an ultimatum to restore Bazoum without hearing “their side of the matter”, the statement read.