African Union Commission urges Niger to immediate release President Bazoum

African Union Commission urges Niger to immediate release President Bazoum

Chief of AU Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat declares support for Economic Community of West African States stance against military junta's anti-constitutional changes

By Andrew Wasike

NAIROBI, Kenya (AA) – African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat on Friday urged the immediate release of Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum and announced his support for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) stance against anti-constitutional change in Niger.

Mahamat also demanded an end to the reportedly appalling circumstances under which the president is being held in custody.

"The Chairperson further calls for the immediate release of President Bazoum and all members of his family and government who are illegally detained with him," the commission said in a statement.

The chairperson's statement came in response to the decisions taken by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Thursday to condemn anti-constitutional changes in Niger.

On Thursday, ECOWAS issued orders to activate a standby force to "restore constitutional order" in Niger.

In the statement, Mahamat "expresses his strong support for the decisions adopted by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on anti-constitutional change in Niger."

The US, France, and the majority of African nations have also expressed support for ECOWAS’s efforts in resolving the crisis.

The military junta in Niger announced a new government on Thursday, appointing Ali Lamine Zeine as interim prime minister with a 21-member Cabinet, a major decision following a successful coup on July 26.

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