Monday, December 4, 2023

Nigerien coupists to charge President Bazoum with high treason

Mr Bazoum’s fate remains in the hands of his nemesis, his presidential guards-turned-coupists, who overthrew his government on July 26.

• August 14, 2023
Niger Coup plotters

Niger coup plotters, now ruling in place of a democratically-elected government, have announced plans to charge ousted President Mohamed Bazoum with high treason and undermining national security.

Announcing the decision on national TV, the junta read a statement, saying it had gathered evidence to prosecute “the deposed president and his local and foreign accomplices for high treason and undermining the internal and external security of Niger.”

It did not give further details.

The announcement came barely 48 hours after a high-powered delegation of Muslim clerics led by the national leader of Jama’atul Izalatil Bid’ah Waikamatu Sunnah from Nigeria met the coupists in Niamey to resolve the political impasse in Niger.

Ali Mahamane Lamine Zeine, the prime minister installed by the putschists, had disclosed that “we have agreed and the leader of our country has given the green light for dialogue. They will now go back and inform the Nigerian president what they have heard from us…(sic).”

Mr Zeine added, “We hope in the coming days, they (ECOWAS) will come here to meet us to discuss how the sanctions imposed against us will be lifted.” 

Mr Bazoum was ousted on July 26, and the coup plotters that overthrew his government have since rebuffed all efforts to restore the Nigerien president to power. The military junta has also ignored sanctions and condemnations by ECOWAS and its international allies, including the U.S. and France.

Mr Bazoum, 63, had been placed under house arrest with his family amid growing concerns over his health.  

On Saturday, Mr Bazoum’s doctor visited him and declared that he was in “good spirits” despite being held in “difficult” conditions.

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