US, UN Concerned for Health of Ousted Niger President Mohamed Bazoum
The health and safety of Niger's President Mohamed Bazoum are a growing concern as he remains under house arrest.
The health and safety of Niger's elected President Mohamed Bazoum have become a growing concern for both the United States and the United Nations. The US State Department expressed their worry, stating, "We are greatly worried about his health and his personal safety and the personal safety of his family." The Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) has given the coup leaders in Niger until Sunday to step down, and Ecowas leaders are currently meeting in Nigeria to determine the next course of action.
President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria, who is chairing the summit, emphasized the importance of diplomatic negotiations with the junta in Niger as the foundation for efforts to restore the democratically elected government. However, Muslim clerics from northern Nigeria, which shares a lengthy border with Niger, have advised President Tinubu against using force to remove the coup leaders.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his concern about the reportedly "deplorable living conditions" that Mr. Bazoum and his family are enduring. Mr. Bazoum's political party, PNDS-Tarayya, released a statement claiming that he and his family have been denied access to basic necessities such as running water, electricity, fresh goods, and medical care. These conditions have been described as "cruel" and "inhumane."
Mr. Bazoum was overthrown on July 26th, and since then, a military junta has been in control of Niger while Mr. Bazoum has been confined to the presidential palace. The junta members have not made any statements regarding the condition of the ousted leader.
In an effort to provide ongoing support, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Mr. Bazoum on Tuesday. The US State Department emphasized their growing concern as Mr. Bazoum remains isolated and held in captivity.
The situation in Niger raises significant concerns about the well-being and safety of President Bazoum and his family. The lack of access to basic necessities and the prolonged period of isolation are alarming. The international community, including the US and the UN, is closely monitoring the situation and urging a peaceful resolution to restore the democratically elected government. It is crucial that diplomatic negotiations continue to be the primary approach, as the use of force could have severe consequences. The focus now is on finding a solution that ensures the health and safety of President Bazoum and his family while upholding democratic principles.