Niger’s Junta said on Sunday they had gathered enough evidence to prosecute ousted President Mohamed Bazoum for high treason following his imprisonment last month and Niger’s military subsequent dissolving of the elected government.
The video statement by junta representative Amadou Abdramane, which provided no evidence, came at a moment of high tension as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) explores its options to restore civilian rule in Niger, including potential military intervention.
“In any event, the government of Niger has to date gathered the necessary evidence to prosecute before the competent national and international authorities the ousted president and his local and foreign accomplices for high treason and undermining the internal and external security of Niger, following his exchanges with the nationals of foreign heads of state and heads of international organizations,” Abdramane said.
“The Nigerien transitional authorities regret this attitude of a certain international community which consists in showing its solidarity with the few politicians of the deposed regime and at the same time lacking in empathy towards the Nigerien populations hard hit by the illegal, inhuman and immediate sanctions of ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) which go so far as to deprive the country of pharmaceutical products, basic foodstuffs and the supply of electricity,” he added.
At stake is not just the fate of Niger – a major uranium producer and Western ally in the fight against the Islamists – but also the influence of rival global powers with strategic interests in West and Central Africa.