Niger's deposed president 'doing well' despite coup: Premier

Niger's deposed president 'doing well' despite coup: Premier

‘He really hopes that things will evolve in the right direction,’ says Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou

By Aurore Bonny

DOUALA, Cameroon (AA) - Niger’s deposed President Mohamed Bazoum, who has been held since Wednesday by his presidential guard, “is doing well,” the country’s prime minister said Sunday.

Bazoum, who was democratically elected in 2021, is "in good spirits" following the coup, Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou said on French TV channel France24.

Mutineers led by the head of the presidential guard, Gen. Abdourahmane Tchiani, claimed responsibility for the coup on the pretext of "the deterioration of the security situation" in the country, which is threatened by terrorism.

"He's a great fighter and a seasoned trade unionist. If he's optimistic about the situation, we can believe him. He really hopes that things will evolve in the right direction," Mahamadou said of Bazoum.

He also welcomed the financial sanctions decided by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) following an extraordinary summit on Niger held Sunday in Nigeria.

The decision taken by the African bloc is "very" satisfactory and logical in the face of "a gratuitous coup based on no element," he added.

Mahamadou said Niger is fragile and will not be able to withstand the sanctions.

"Economically, it will be a disaster. Socially, it will be a disaster. Because Niger is a country that relies heavily on its international partnerships," he said.

He also commented on the demonstration in favor of the military putsch targeting the French embassy in the capital Niamey, saying it was not an event led by the people of Niger as a whole.

"I know that the people of Niger have no anti-French feelings," he added.

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