Niger’s junta threatens to kill ousted president

Niger’s junta told a top U.S. diplomat that they would kill deposed President Mohamed Bazoum if neighboring countries attempted any military intervention to restore his rule, two Western officials told media

Representatives of the junta told U.S. Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland of the threat to Bazoum during her visit to the country this week, a Western military official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

A U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity as they lacked authorization to communicate with the media, corroborated the provided information.

The threats from both sides escalate tensions but hopefully nudge them closer to actually talking, said Aneliese Bernard, a former U.S. State Department official who specialized in African affairs and is now director of Strategic Stabilization Advisors, a risk advisory group.

The danger posed to the ousted president intensifies the challenges for ECOWAS and the ruling junta. The junta, which took control on July 26, has demonstrated an increasing readiness to escalate its actions.

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