Nigerien Prez Bazoum says he’s been ‘taken hostage’ by military

Insight Online News

Niamey, Aug 4 : The president of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum, said in an op-ed in the Washington Post that he has been taken hostage by the military coup in the country and called on the US and international community to help restore constitutional order.

“I write this as a hostage. Niger is under attack from a military junta that is trying to overthrow our democracy, and I am just one of hundreds of citizens who have been arbitrarily and illegally imprisoned,” Bazoum said on Thursday.

Bazoum further said the military coup has no justification, and if it succeeds, it will have devastating consequences for Niger, the region, and the entire world.

The president of Niger called on the US government and the entire international community to help the country restore constitutional order. He claims the coup plotters falsely claim that they acted to protect Niger’s security.

Moreover, Bazoum claimed that by an open invitation from the coup plotters and their regional allies, the entire central Sahel region could fall to Russian influence through the Wagner Group.

Earlier this week, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said the United States has not seen any indications yet that the Wagner Group is trying to exploit the situation in Niger.

White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said on Thursday that the United States believes there is still some time to resolve the situation in Niger through diplomacy.

On July 26, the Nigerien presidential guard overthrew Bazoum. On Sunday, the pro-Western 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) gave the coup leaders in Niger one week to reinstate the detained president or it would use all measures to restore order there.

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