The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, on Friday, expressed “serious concern” about the “deterioration of the conditions of detention” of Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum, judging “inadmissible” his treatment by the military authorities who overturned.
In the same statement, the leader “expresses his strong support for the decisions of ECOWAS” , the Economic Community of West African States, which decided on Thursday to deploy a “standby force” to restore constitutional order. in Niger.
Mohamed Bazoum, who was elected in 2021, has been held prisoner with his wife and son since the military coup that overthrew him on July 26.
According to the NGO Human Rights Watch, which spoke to Mr. Bazoum, he described the treatment of his family as “inhuman and cruel”, saying that he had had no electricity since August 2, nor any human contact for a week.
“Such treatment of a democratically elected president through a regular electoral process is inadmissible”, denounced Moussa Faki Mahamat, calling on “the entire international community to concretely unite all its efforts to save life and integrity moral and physical of President Mohamed Bazoum”.
The day after an ECOWAS summit, the AU leader challenges “the military authorities on the urgency of stopping the escalation with the regional organization, the distrust of it and the continued kidnapping of the president in conditions that are deteriorating in a worrying way” .
ECOWAS on Thursday ordered the deployment of a “standby force” to restore constitutional order in Niger, which should be made up of Ivorian, Nigerian and Beninese troops. The West African bloc, however, did not rule out the diplomatic route to restore Mr. Bazoum.
Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, who holds the rotating presidency of ECOWAS, said Thursday hoped “to reach a peaceful resolution”, adding that a resort to force as a “last resort” was not excluded.