Niger coup leaders to prosecute Bazoum for high treason

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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.

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.
West Africa’s regional bloc kept up its search on Sunday for diplomatic ways to overturn last month’s coup in Niger, while retaining the threat of military intervention amid a crisis that has sucked in global superpowers.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said on Saturday that it aimed to send a parliamentary committee to meet the coup leaders, who have imprisoned Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum and dissolved the elected government, in the seventh coup in West and Central Africa in three years.

While the ECOWAS parliament made no firm decisions on Saturday, it set up a committee that plans to meet Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, who holds the bloc’s revolving chairmanship, to get his permission to go to Niger, its spokesperson said.