Niger ousted president Bazoum to be prosecuted for ‘high treason’

Niger ousted president Bazoum to be prosecuted for ‘high treason’ Niger ousted president Bazoum to be prosecuted for ‘high treason’
Niger ousted president Bazoum to be prosecuted for ‘high treason’.

Niger Coup leaders have announced their intention to prosecute ousted President Mohammed Bazoum for “high treason” and undermining state security.

This announcement comes just hours after the junta expressed their willingness to engage in dialogue with West African nations to address the growing regional crisis. The potential consequences for Bazoum, if found guilty, could be severe, as Nigeria’s penal code allows for the death penalty in cases of high treason.

Colonel Major Amadou Abdramane, the spokesperson for the military regime, made the announcement on state television on Sunday night. He stated that the necessary evidence had been gathered to prosecute Bazoum, along with his local and foreign accomplices, for high treason and for undermining the internal and external security of Niger. However, no specific details regarding the allegations or the trial itself were provided in the announcement.

Bazoum, who was democratically elected as president of Niger, was ousted from power by members of his presidential guard on July 26. Since then, he has been under house arrest in the presidential compound in the capital city of Niamey, along with his wife and son. Reports have emerged that the family’s access to basic necessities, such as electricity, water, and food, has been cut off. The junta, however, dismissed these reports and accused both West African politicians and international partners of spreading disinformation in an attempt to discredit the junta.

Niger ousted president Bazoum to be prosecuted for ‘high treason’.
Niger ousted president Bazoum to be prosecuted for ‘high treason’.

The situation in Niger remains tense, with the coup leaders facing increasing pressure from both internal and external forces. The Economic Community of West African States has condemned the coup and imposed sanctions on the country, including closing its borders and freezing its financial assets. Additionally, ECOWAS has called for the immediate release of Bazoum and a return to constitutional order. However, the coup leaders have shown no signs of backing down and have instead chosen to escalate the situation by pushing for the prosecution of the deposed president.

It is unclear what impact the junta’s decision to prosecute Bazoum will have on the ongoing regional crisis. The international community has expressed deep concern over the deteriorating situation in Niger and has called for a peaceful resolution. However, with the threat of the death penalty hanging over the former president, tensions are likely to remain high.

As the situation unfolds, it is crucial for all parties involved to prioritize dialogue and diplomacy in order to find a peaceful resolution. Niger’s stability and security depend on the establishment of a legitimate and inclusive government that represents the will of the people. The international community, particularly regional actors such as ECOWAS, must continue to pressure the coup leaders to engage in meaningful dialogue and work towards a peaceful transition of power.

Niger ousted president Bazoum to be prosecuted for ‘high treason’
Niger ousted president Bazoum to be prosecuted for ‘high treason’.

The prosecution of Bazoum for high treason raises serious concerns about the rule of law and due process in Niger. It is essential that any trial be fair, transparent, and conducted in accordance with international human rights standards. The international community must closely monitor the proceedings to ensure that Bazoum’s rights are respected and that justice is served.

In conclusion, the decision by Niger’s coup leaders to prosecute deposed President Mohamed Bazoum for high treason further complicates an already volatile situation. The potential consequences for Bazoum, including the death penalty, underscore the gravity of the charges and raise concerns about the fairness of the legal proceedings. It is imperative that all parties involved prioritize dialogue and diplomacy in order to find a peaceful resolution and establish a legitimate government that represents the will of the people.

In the weeks since the coup, the junta has entrenched itself in power, appointing a new government and leveraging anti-French sentiment against its former colonial ruler to shore up support among the population. This has created a tense environment for locals who oppose the junta, as well as many foreigners and journalists who now find themselves operating in a very difficult climate. The Press House, an independent Nigerien organization that protects journalists, has expressed deep concern about the threats and intimidation faced by local and international media.

Furthermore, the rise in jihadi violence since the coup is alarming. Niger was seen by Western nations as one of the last democratic countries in the Sahel region that they could partner with to combat the growing jihadi violence linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group. France, the United States, and other European countries have invested significant resources in supporting Niger’s military to address this security threat. However, with the suspension of military operations by France and the United States in response to the coup, the fight against jihadi violence is now at a standstill.

According to a security report for aid groups, on Sunday, Nigerien security forces were ambushed by fighters believed to be affiliated with the Islamic State group. The attackers used motorcycles in their assault. This incident, along with another attack last week claimed by the al-Qaida linked group known as NJIM, marks a new phase of the conflict. Various groups are now seeking to consolidate power due to suspended military operations.

Wassim Nasr, a journalist and senior research fellow at the Soufan Center, explained that this shift in tactics is largely a consequence of the military being preoccupied with consolidating their coup in Niamey. Furthermore, attempts at communication and dialogue with certain jihadi groups have been discontinued since Bazoum’s administration came into power.

Former jihadi Boubacar Moussa revealed that he has received multiple phone calls from active jihadis who are celebrating the chaos and increased freedom of movement following the coup. Although Moussa is part of a nationwide program aimed at encouraging jihadi fighters to defect and reintegrate into society, it remains uncertain whether this program will continue under the current military regime. As circumstances develop, it is anticipated that jihadis will exploit the security gap to launch new attacks.

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