Party of Niger’s deposed president says he’s being held under ‘inhumane’ conditions

Party of Niger’s deposed president says he’s being held under ‘inhumane’ conditions

Mohamed Bazoum’s party calls for international intervention to secure his freedom and restore constitutional order

By James Tasamba

KIGALI, Rwanda (AA) – Niger’s deposed President Mohamed Bazoum is being held under “inhumane” conditions and is running out of food, his party said Wednesday.

Bazoum was ousted on July 26 in a military coup led by Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani, the former commander of Niger's presidential guard, who has declared himself the head of a transitional government.

Since then, Bazoum has reportedly been held hostage at the presidential palace in the capital Niamey.

He and his family are being detained under “cruel” and “inhumane” conditions without access to running water, electricity, fresh goods or doctors, his Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism-Tarayya said in a statement.

The junta did not immediately comment on Bazoum’s living conditions.

But denouncing the living conditions, the party called for the intervention of the international community to secure his freedom from house arrest and restore constitutional order.

The junta has vowed that it will not bow to pressure to cede power as demanded by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The bloc’s leaders are scheduled to meet at a second emergency summit on Thursday in Nigeria to discuss the political crisis in Niger.

On Wednesday, Tchiani received his newly appointed prime minister Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine.

Zeine, an economist who served as finance minister under Mamadou Tandja, a former Niger president who led the country from 1999 to 2010 after its return to civilian rule, is said to have arrived in Niamey on a special flight chartered by the Chadian authorities.

Several prominent Nigerian politicians meanwhile petitioned Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, the current chairman of ECOWAS, asking him to lift sanctions against Niger and avoid possible military intervention.

The letter was signed by former presidents, former prime ministers and former parliament speakers.

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