Niger’s military says it will prosecute deposed President Mohamed Bazoum for treason, hours after a group of senior Islamic scholars said the country’s coup leaders are open to diplomacy to resolve their standoff with West Africa’s regional bloc.
In a statement read out on national television late last night, a military spokesperson laid out the charges against Bazoum as ‘high treason and undermining the internal and external security’ of the country. Legalbrief reports that the democratically elected leader and his family have been held at the president’s official residence in Niamey since the 26 July coup, sparking a global outcry.
Ecowas has called for Bazoum’s reinstatement, imposing severe economic sanctions on Niger and threatening military intervention if civilian rule is not restored. Al Jazeera reports that the West African bloc, which has approved the deployment of a ‘standby force to restore constitutional order’ in Niger, has said it remains committed to finding a diplomatic solution to the crisis.
The spokesman for Niger’s military, Colonel Major Amadou Abdramane has dismissed concerns over Bazoum’s health, saying the deposed leader had seen his doctor on Saturday. ‘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 slammed the sanctions on Niger, saying the ‘illegal, inhumane and humiliating’ measures were making it difficult for people to access medicines, food and electricity. Full Al Jazeera report