Niger junta says it will prosecute ousted president for treason

Niamey: Niger’s junta, which seized power following a coup in July, has vowed to prosecute ousted President Mohamed Bazoum for “high treason” and slammed West African leaders for imposing sanctions on the country.

Bazoum would be prosecuted “for high treason and undermining the internal and external security of Niger”, Xinhua news agency quoted Col Maj Amadou Abdramane, a member of the country’s Defence and Security Forces and the newly-established National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP), as saying.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has imposed sanctions on Niger in response to the July 26 coup and approved the deployment of a “standby force to restore constitutional order” in the country as soon as possible but remains committed to finding a diplomatic solution to the crisis, with Niger’s coup leaders denouncing the sanctions as “illegal, inhumane and humiliating”, according to the local media.

Soldiers in Niger detained Bazoum on July 26 and chose Abdourahamane Tchiani, former leader of the country’s presidential guard, to lead the CNSP, a governing body established by them after the coup.

Bazoum’s political party has said his family has no access to running water, fresh food or doctors, and Bazoum told Human Rights Watch that his son needed to see a doctor because of a serious heart condition. The junta has also indefinitely shut the country’s airspace.

Image courtesy of Twitter@PresidenceNiger

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