Niger Military Junta Threatens To Kill Bazoum
Junta's Ominous Warning Raises Concerns of Escalating Crisis and International Involvement
Leaders of the coup in Niger Republic have reportedly conveyed a chilling warning to a high-ranking US diplomat, stating their intention to take the life of ousted President Mohamed Bazoum should neighboring countries attempt any form of military intervention.
According to a report by The Associated Press (AP), the junta made this alarming disclosure to two senior Western officials amidst the announcement of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) deploying a standby force on Thursday to address the ongoing crisis.
The AP report details that representatives of the junta relayed this grave threat to Victoria Nuland, the US Under Secretary of State, during her recent visit to the country. The sources further revealed that a US official, preferring to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the information, corroborated the junta’s statement.
Aneliese Bernard, a former US State Department specialist in African affairs, expressed her concern about the potential for the threats to escalate tensions on all fronts. She noted, “This junta’s swift and aggressive actions thus far leave room for the possibility of even more extreme measures.”
In a comprehensive communiqué issued following Thursday’s meeting in Abuja, ECOWAS deliberated on several strategic measures aimed at addressing the crisis in Niger. The bloc unequivocally condemned the hostage situation involving Bazoum, emphasizing the responsibility of the military government in Niger to ensure the safety of the detained former president, his family, and the democratically elected administration.
ECOWAS additionally mandated the president of the commission to meticulously monitor the implementation of sanctions on Niger. The bloc also directed the “committee of the chief of defense staff to immediately activate the ECOWAS standby force, complete with all its constituent elements.”
Bazoum’s ousting on July 26 through a bloodless coup has sparked a series of events with far-reaching consequences. The junta, now in power, has swiftly assembled a cabinet to oversee the governance of the nation.
As the situation unfolds, international concerns mount over the potential for further destabilization and violence in the region.