The Niger junta has said it will prosecute ousted President Mohamed Bazoum for high treason over his exchanges with foreign heads of state and international organisations.
According to Reuters, Junta spokesperson Colonel Amadou Abdramane said in a statement read out on state TV late on Sunday that the military authorities had “gathered the necessary evidence to prosecute the ousted president for high treason and undermining the internal and external security of Niger.”
West African leaders on August 10 ramped up the rhetoric against Niger’s coup leaders, ordering the deployment of a regional standby force to restore democracy in the coup-hit country.
Niger Republic has been engulfed in political chaos since late last month, when Bazoum was ousted in a coup d’etat by the presidential guard.
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.
That deadline came and went on August 6, without any change in the political situation. ECOWAS leaders have said their preference is to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis and would send in troops as a last resort.
However, the leader of the Niger Junta, General Abdourahmane Tchiani has agreed to explore diplomatic dialogue.
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.
SOURCE: PUNCH NEWSPAPER