Mohamed Bazoum to be Prosecuted by Niger Military for High Treason

The Situation at Hand:

Shortly after a legation of senior Islamic scholars claimed the leading putschists were open to resolving the ongoing crisis through diplomatic means, charges were placed upon the deposed president. The allegations, proposed on August 13th, charge Bazoum as having carried out “high treason and undermining the internal and external security” of Niger.

The Background:

President Bazoum and his family have been held at the official presidential residence since the date of the coup, July 26th. Notably, the deposed president was met by General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, president of Chad, while detained, July 30th. He has also written an open letter to the U.S. government via The Washington Post, calling for support and stating unequivocally that he has been taken hostage. He also points out the opportunity provided to terrorist groups such as Boko Haram that may use the recent instability as a staging ground for attacks both in Niger, and in neighboring countries. 

In light of a passed deadline for the Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS) apparent military intervention, it seems increasingly unlikely that there will be a regional military response to the incident. Similarly, France24 claim that U.S. and French militaries, both of which have soldiers in Niger, are “not exactly on the same page”.

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