US raises alarming concerns for ousted Niger President Bazoum


The United States has raised alarming concerns over the worsening situation faced by President Mohamed Bazoum of Niger, who was ousted in a coup on July 26.

Reports have emerged that Bazoum and his family are surviving on rice and pasta without access to electricity.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed his “grave concern” for the wellbeing of Bazoum during a telephone call with former President Mahamadou Issoufou, who preceded Bazoum in office. The call focused on the deteriorating conditions faced by the embattled leader.

One of the key points discussed in the call was Blinken’s dismay over the refusa of the individuals who seized power in Niger to release Bazoum’s family members as a gesture of goodwill. It is a troubling situation that the United States is closely monitoring.

Bazoum, along with his wife Hadiza and one of their children, Salem, is currently being held in the presidential palace in Niamey, the capital of Niger. Media reports have indicated that the family has been denied adequate food and water, further exacerbating their already dire circumstances.

In an interview with The Guardian, Bazoum’s daughter Zazia Bazoum shed light on the harrowing conditions her family is facing. She revealed that they are surviving on a dwindling supply of dry rice and pasta, emphasising the dangers of such a limited diet for their health. Additionally, she expressed concern about the lack of clean water for drinking and the imminent depletion of gas for cooking.

The United States’ concerns for Bazoum and his family are understandable considering the basic necessities they are lacking. Humanitarian aid organisations have long emphasised the importance of access to nutritious food, clean water, and adequate living conditions for individuals’ physical and mental well-being.

Furthermore, the refusal to release Bazoum’s family members as a gesture of goodwill reflects poorly on those who seized power in Niger. It is essential for the international community to ensure the safety and well-being of Bazoum and his family, as their mistreatment contravenes basic human rights principles.

US raises alarming concerns for ousted Niger President Bazoum
Supporters of Niger’s coup rally in front of a French army base in the capital Niamey on Friday [Mahamadou Hamidou/Reuters]
The dire situation in Niger continues to unfold as the country grapples with the aftermath of a coup d’état that has left the nation in a state of political turmoil.

Amidst the chaos, reports have emerged of the inhumane treatment of detainees, including the cutting of electricity, resulting in spoiled food and deteriorating living conditions. International pressure is mounting to restore democratic rule and constitutional order, as the world watches with concern.

A heartbreaking account reveals the inhumane treatment of detainees, who have been subjected to a complete cut-off of electricity for more than two weeks. Such a drastic measure has not only left the food in their refrigerators to rot, but it has also taken a toll on their physical health. One detainee’s sister reports that her brother has lost a staggering 10kg, highlighting the severe impact of the ongoing crisis on the well-being of those detained.

It is believed that the coup leaders orchestrated this power outage with the intent to coerce President Bazoum into signing a resignation letter, effectively forcing him to relinquish power against his will. Such a tactic is not only a violation of democratic principles but also an act of torture for the detained president and his supporters. The detainees’ loved ones rightly express their anguish, condemning this cruel form of treatment.

The international community has not turned a blind eye to the events unfolding in Niger. Recently, the Acting Deputy Secretary of State for the United States, Victoria Nuland, requested an audience with President Bazoum but was denied the opportunity.

However, Secretary of State Antony Blinken managed to communicate his support for a solution that restores Niger to democratic rule and constitutional order in a phone call with President Bazoum.

Niger’s coup leaders have faced growing international pressure, with the Economic Community of West African States, a regional bloc consisting of 15 member states, reiterating its willingness to employ the “use of force” as a last resort. This stance underscores the commitment to upholding democratic values and ensuring the will of the people prevails. The international community is united in its condemnation of the coup and its dedication to restoring peace and stability in Niger.

The recent government overthrow in Niger is a significant event, marking the country’s fifth successful coup since gaining independence from France in 1960. The state utility company has attributed the electricity outages in Niger to international sanctions. This has greatly affected the country’s power supply, as approximately 70 percent of Niger’s power comes from neighbouring Nigeria, which has cut off electricity supplies in response to the coup.

Consequently, the population has been left grappling with power shortages and interruptions. Moreover, the sanctions and the suspension of some international aid have had other dire consequences. One of the immediate effects has been a rise in food prices, posing additional challenges for the already vulnerable population.

The combination of power outages and soaring food prices has significantly impacted the daily lives of Nigeriens, further exacerbating the socio-economic hardships faced by the nation. It is evident that Niger is currently grappling with multiple challenges arising from the political instability and subsequent consequences it has caused.

Abubakar Momoh
Abubakar Momoh is a distinguished West African correspondent for Who Owns Africa and an alumnus of the esteemed University of California. With exceptional skills and deep understanding of the socio-political landscape of the West Africa region, Abubakar consistently delivers thought-provoking and insightful reports. His commitment to journalism and his relentless pursuit of truth have earned him a well-deserved reputation as a trusted and influential voice in the field.


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