On Sunday evening, the military council that carried out the coup in Niger announced its intention to bring ousted President Mohamed Bazoum to justice. The politician was charged with “treason and acting at the expense of state security.”
“The Nigerian government has obtained evidence that justifies filing a case before the competent national and international courts against the ousted president and his accomplices, on charges of high treason and working at the expense of Niger’s internal and external security,” said a statement read out on a national website. Television by a member of the Military Council, Col. Amadou Abdel Rahman.
Read moreThe ousted president and his family were deprived of food, electricity and medical care.
Abdelrahman also said that the military council “condemns the illegal, inhumane and degrading sanctions” imposed on Niger by the Economic Community of West African States. He added that it mainly aims to “deprive the country of food, medicine and electricity”.
coup in Niger
On July 26, a coup d’etat took place in Niger. Major General Abdul Rahman Chiani, commander of the Presidential Guard since 2011, declared himself the country’s new leader two days later.
See also: What’s happening in Niger and what it means for the rest of the world, including Europe
On August 7, the coup leaders appointed a new prime minister. Ali Muhammad Amin Zain, a member of the Nigerian government that was overthrown in 2010, was elected. On the same day, Niamey hosted US Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, who had “honest and difficult” talks with representatives of the junta. Her request to meet Bazoum was rejected, as were suggestions to restore democratic order in the country.
On July 30, ECOWAS and Chad issued a statement giving the military junta an ultimatum – if President Bazoum does not return to power, economic sanctions will be imposed on Niger. ECOWAS also threatened the new Nigerian authorities with force. In response, the governments of Mali and Burkina Faso, which came to power in a military coup, declared that military intervention in Niger would amount to a declaration of war on those countries as well.
>> Military coups in Africa. The military dictatorship does indeed extend from east to west
On Tuesday 8 August, the Nigerian military junta opposed the arrival of another ECOWAS delegation to the country to negotiate Bazuma’s return to power.
The deposed 63-year-old Bazoum belongs to a dwindling group of more or less democratically-pro-Western elected Sahel heads of state, while military councils in Mali and Burkina Faso are turning away from traditional allies — the United States, France and the European Union. In favor of deeper cooperation with Russia.
Main image source: Getty Images
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