The coup leaders of Niger have stated that they will prosecute ousted President Mohamed Bazoum, whom they toppled. He would be prosecuted on the charges of “high treason” and “undermining the security of the country.”
The military regime has said that it has enough evidence to “to prosecute the deposed president and his local and foreign accomplices before the competent national and international bodies for high treason and undermining the internal and external security of Niger.”
The Generals also called the sanctions imposed by ECOWAS as “illegal, inhumane and humiliating”. Bazoum has been held in his presidential residence along with his son and wife since July 26. It has been reported that the ousted President has been living without electricity and proper food. However, the coup leaders has repudiated such claims.
The statement by the coup leaders could further aggravate the conflict, as a week ago, ECOWAS ordered the activation of a standby force for the possible use of power against junta. The order was issued after the Summit of the head of states of the West African Nations in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, chair of ECOWAS had said that no option had been taken off the table, including the use of force as last resort.
The situation has been intense since day one of the coup. After military took over the nation, ECOWAS gave a deadline of July 30 to release the ousted President, which was ignored by the coup leaders. And now, after the activation of standby forces, the decision of prosecution of Bazoum looks retaliatory and has the potential to take the conflict to a new level.