NIAMEY, Niger – Mohamed Bazoum, the President of Niger who has been detained following a coup by members of his guard last month, was visited by his doctor on Saturday, August 12, 2023, sparking heightened concerns over his well-being.
This development was confirmed by a member of the president’s entourage to journalists. “The president had a visit by his doctor today”, the source mentioned….CONTINUE READING
Along with the medical examination, the physician also provided food for President Bazoum, his wife, and his son, who are currently in custody.
The condition of President Bazoum remains a topic of speculation, with international stakeholders and human rights organizations expressing increasing worry over his safety and health, as well as the overall political stability in Niger.
President Bazoum’s detention comes after a spate of military coups in the West African region, with nations like Mali and Guinea experiencing similar power takeovers in the past couple of years.
Such events have sparked international concern, with calls for the restoration of constitutional order and respect for democratic principles.
The current status of Niger’s political situation remains uncertain, as international bodies like the African Union, ECOWAS, and global powers continue to monitor events closely and press for a peaceful resolution.
Details about the health and condition of President Bazoum are expected to play a crucial role in shaping international responses and interventions in the coming days.
As of now, the immediate next steps or decisions from the coup leaders remain unclear.
Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Benin, Senegal Pledge Troops to ECOWAS Intervention in Niger Republic
As tensions escalate in the Republic of Niger, several Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, members, including Ivory Coast, Republic of Benin, Senegal, and Nigeria, have pledged troops to the bloc’s proposed military intervention in the crisis-stricken nation.
This display of regional unity has been further amplified as the African Union, AU, voiced its backing for the ECOWAS initiative to reinstate Niger’s constitutional authority.
Army leaders from ECOWAS countries are expected to convene in Ghana’s capital, Accra, the following Saturday to strategize on the impending military involvement. An ECOWAS spokesperson told journalists on Friday, August 11, 2023, “One meeting is being planned for next week.”
While specifics regarding deployment numbers remain vague for some countries, Ivory Coast’s President, Alassane Ouattara, confirmed that his nation would dispatch a battalion comprising between 850 and 1,100 men.
This is in response to ECOWAS’s unsuccessful diplomatic efforts to restore democracy in Niger.
The Nigerian military has been notably tight-lipped regarding its contributions, despite Nigeria’s significant roles in past ECOWAS interventions.
Historical records underscore Nigeria’s influential part in stabilizing Liberia, Sierra Leone, and The Gambia.
During a post-meeting address in Abuja, Ouattara highlighted that Nigeria and Benin will also provide troops, reiterating ECOWAS’s legacy of championing constitutional order in member countries.
Notably, Senegal and Benin affirmed their commitments, although both stopped short of disclosing specifics.
However, the ripple effect of Niger’s unrest isn’t merely regional.
Burkina Faso and Mali, both currently under military rule and ECOWAS members, have warned of defending Niger’s junta.
This was poignantly underscored when Burkina Faso’s junta-led administration suspended popular broadcaster, Radio Omega, following an interview that allegedly “insulted” Niger’s nascent military leadership.
In a statement, Rimtalba Jean Emmanuel Ouedraogo, Communications Minister of Burkina Faso, confirmed this indefinite suspension.
Amidst these simmering tensions, the African Union’s support for ECOWAS has been vociferously articulated.
The AU’s statement described President Mohamed Bazoum’s detainment and that of his family as an “illegal kidnapping” and “unacceptable.” Moussa Mahamat, AU Commission President, urged Niger’s military to desist from escalating conflicts with regional counterparts and demanded Bazoum’s immediate release.
Furthermore, echoing the AU’s concerns, the European Union and the United States have registered their growing apprehension about Bazoum’s captivity conditions, signaling broader international scrutiny on Niger’s unfolding crisis….CONTINUE READING