ECOWAS condemns threat to prosecute deposed Niger president

The West African organization ECOWAS on Monday criticized the military rulers of Niger for their threats to prosecute the deposed president Mohamed Bazoum, pointing out that such actions contradicted the regime’s stated willingness to peacefully resolve the crisis.

The leaders of the coup that ousted Bazoum announced on Sunday evening that they had collected evidence that would allow them to bring charges of “high treason and undermining the internal and external security of Niger” against Bazoum.

This, it said, was based on “contacts” Bazoum had had with “nationals… foreign heads of state… (and) officials in international organisations.”

In a statement released on Monday, ECOWAS expressed its astonishment upon learning about the threats.

“It represents yet another form of provocation and contradicts the reported willingness of the military authorities in the Republic of Niger to restore constitutional order through peaceful means,” the bloc said.

Since the coup, Bazoum, aged 63, and his family have been confined to the president’s official residence. Concerns have escalated internationally regarding his well-being and conditions during his detention.

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