The National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP), the ruling military junta of Niger, has affirmed its willingness to prosecute former president Bazoum Mohamed and his accomplices for high treason before the highest international courts.
The CNSP, which overthrew Bazoum’s government in a coup on July 26, 2023, said in a statement on Sunday that they have gathered the necessary evidence to prove that Bazoum and his allies had violated the constitution, endangered national security, and mismanaged public funds.
The CNSP also made a formal denial to the message of the daughter of Bazoum, who had appealed for help on social media, claiming that her father was deprived of food and had no access to his doctor. The junta said that Bazoum was being treated humanely and had regular medical check-ups. The junta accused Bazoum’s daughter of spreading false information to tarnish the image of the CNSP and to incite international pressure on the junta.
The CNSP confirmed that the sanctions imposed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) also apply to pharmaceuticals, which could worsen the humanitarian situation in the country.
ECOWAS had suspended Niger from its decision-making bodies and imposed economic and diplomatic sanctions on the junta, demanding a swift return to constitutional order and the release of Bazoum and other detainees. The CNSP said that it was ready to respond to any external attacks against its country and that it would not bow to any foreign interference.
The CNSP also identified some elements of the old regime who were allegedly acting as a disguise to spread false information and discredit the ruling junta. The junta said that it had uncovered a plot by some former officials and politicians to destabilize the country and to undermine the transition process. The junta said that it reserved the right to sue them before the competent courts and that it would not tolerate any subversive activities.
The CNSP dismissed the announced trip of former president Issoufou Mahamadou, who had left the country after handing over power to Bazoum in April 2023, as part of an intoxication and misinformation campaign.
The junta said that Issoufou had no legitimacy or authority to intervene in the affairs of Niger and that he was trying to manipulate public opinion and create confusion. The junta said that Issoufou was responsible for the crisis that led to the coup and that he should face justice for his crimes.
The CNSP said that it was ready to walk Nigeriens to overcome this ordeal by providing all the necessary assistance to ameliorate the current situation. The junta said that it was committed to organizing a peaceful and inclusive transition that would lead to free and fair elections within a reasonable timeframe.
The junta said that it was working on a roadmap for the transition and that it would consult with all segments of society to ensure a broad consensus. The junta said that it was counting on the support and cooperation of all Nigeriens to restore peace, stability, and democracy in the country.