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Ousted Niger president Bazoum attempts escape to Nigeria, says junta captors



President Bazoum

Niger’s military regime on Thursday stated that they had effectively stopped an escape plot by Mohamed Bazoum to Nigeria.

The former president was overthrown in a coup in July.

The interim authorities said that Bazoum and his family, with the help of accomplices in the security forces, planned to drive a vehicle to the outskirts of the capital Niamey and catch a helicopter to neighbouring Nigeria.

Reuters was not able to confirm the account or reach Bazoum, whose whereabouts are unknown.

Bazoum, much like his counterparts in Mali and Burkina Faso, was removed from office because of the worsening security situation caused by an Islamist insurgency that has taken thousands of lives in the region.

The military contended that it could manage this crisis more efficiently than a civilian government.

Bazoum’s party and family members have expressed concerns about his lack of access to basic amenities, such as running water, electricity, and fresh goods.

These statements have led to strong condemnation from former Western allies.

The absence of these fundamental services raises questions about the living conditions and infrastructure in the region under Bazoum’s leadership. administration.

The Republic of Niger has been in a political impasse since the Presidential Guard deposed its President and announced General Tchiani as the nation’s new leader in July.

There have been negotiations between the ECOWAS group and the government over a return to constitutional democracy in the country.

The military junta in the country has stated its commitment to return to constitutional democracy saying the international community should allow them three years for transition. ECOWAS has rejected the proposal.

ECOWAS and the larger continental body the AU frowns at the surge in military coups on the continent. Since 2020, the continent has witnessed about seven coup d’etat and fears if the Niger coup is not controlled, it can spread to other countries.