Niger’s military regime have vowed late Sunday to prosecute ousted President Mohamed Bazoum for “high treason” and slammed West African leaders for imposing sanctions on the country.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) imposed sanctions on Niger in response to the coup and has not ruled out using force against the army officers who toppled the democratically elected Bazoum on July 26.
The West African bloc has approved the deployment of a “standby force to restore constitutional order” in Niger as soon as possible but remains committed to finding a diplomatic solution to the crisis.
According to a statement read out by Colonel-Major Amadou Abdramane on national television, Niger’s military leaders said they would prosecute Bazoum “for high treason and undermining the internal and external security of Niger.
Bazoum, 63, and his family have been held at the president’s official Niamey residence since the coup, with international concern mounting over his conditions in detention.
ECOWAS responded days later by enacting sanctions and issuing an ultimatum to the ruling military junta: stand down within a week or face a potential military intervention.
Tchiani said on Saturday during a meeting with Nigeria’s intervention team comprising Islamic scholars led by the national chairman of Jamatul Izalatu Bida Waikamatu Sunnah, Bala Lau.
It was learnt that Tchiani, according to Niger Republic’s Prime Minister, Ali Zeine, was ready for a dialogue, expressing hope that the talks with ECOWAS would take place in the next few days.