Germany warns Niger coup leaders against harming president

Germany warns Niger coup leaders against harming president

Berlin threatens Niger coup plotters with ‘severe personal consequences’ if anything happens to democratically elected President Bazoum

By Oliver Towfigh Nia

BERLIN (AA) – The German government on Monday warned the military coup leaders in the West African country of Niger against acts of violence against detained President Mohamed Bazoum.

Speaking to media representatives in Berlin, Foreign Ministry spokesman Sebastian Fischer made it clear that they are worried about Bazoum.

"And that is why I would like to take this opportunity to once again underline our message to the putschists that they must expect severe personal consequences should anything happen to democratically elected President Bazoum and his family," Fischer said.

"We would perceive that as an escalation, just like our African partners," he added.

When asked about specific consequences, Fischer named sanctions and also national or international criminal prosecution as possible steps.

He also expressed hope that the coup plotters will respond to mediation efforts by the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The ultimatum from ECOWAS to the military junta, which has been in power in Niger since a coup at the end of July, to reinstate the ousted president expired at the weekend.

According to Fischer, the situation in Niger is still fragile and tense.

“Now the sanctions are starting to take effect. They also have painful effects on the people and also on the regime," he said.

“You know, the power supply from Nigeria has been cut. There also seems to be initial problems with cash,” he added.

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