Monday, May 27, 2024

Bassum receives a visit from his doctor when a group of Nigerian clerics arrives in Niger

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Niger’s president, Mohamed Bassoum, received a “visit from his doctor” at his official residence on Saturday, while a delegation of Nigerian clerics arrived in the capital, Niamey, to meet with coup leaders. July 26.

Bazoum, 63, has been detained with his family since the coup in the presidential palace in the capital.

One of his relatives told AFP that “the President of the Republic visited him today (Saturday) from his doctor,” who “brought him food,” as well as his son and wife, who are detained with him, adding, “He is doing well when he sees the situation.”

Before the July 26 coup, representatives of several organizations and countries aligned with Niger expressed concern about detention conditions and the health of the ousted president.

On Friday, the head of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, expressed his “deep concern” over Bazoum’s “deteriorating conditions of detention”. “This treatment of a democratically elected president through a legitimate electoral process is unacceptable,” he believed.

The US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, expressed his “dismay” at the military’s refusal to release Bassum and his family as a “sign of goodwill”.

On Wednesday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced that he was “deeply concerned” about the “deplorable living conditions in which President Bassum and his family are said to be living”. United Nations.

Speaking to Basoom, Human Rights Watch said the treatment of him and his family was “inhumane and cruel”.

For his part, local activist Insa Garba Saido, who helps Niger’s new military rulers with their contacts, said in his first interview with Western media on Friday that “there will be no dialogue with regional countries until the new leadership is approved.” .”

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Although he did not confirm that there was a deliberate plan to assassinate the detained president, he said that if the invasion began, the soldiers would kill him, later adding that “none of the soldiers are still loyal to Bassum.”

A close ally of the Nigerian rulers says their recognition is the only way to start negotiations.

One of the “human rights defenders” associated with the military council insists as several countries call for the reinstatement of detained President Muhammad Basoom and the return of army chiefs to their barracks. The international community must recognize the “new authorities” in the country.

Seido denied reports that Bassum was under house arrest at his presidential compound and said he had received medical treatment and was still carrying his phone, indicating no one wanted to harm him.

He did not mention how he came to know the situation of the President, who is being detained for his own safety and the only way to release him is for ECOWAS to accept his tenure.

Since the July 26 coup, Bassum has been locked in the basement of his presidential compound with his wife and son, surrounded by guards. He is now isolated and complains of lack of food, electricity, water and cooking gas.

Try a new mediation

Meanwhile, on Saturday, a delegation of Nigerian Muslim religious leaders arrived in Niamey and refused to receive representatives of the Economic Community of West African States “ECOWAS”, the African Union and the United Nations on Tuesday to talk to the Bushists who refused.

The visit comes after ECOWAS approved the deployment of an intervention force to restore Bassum to his post as it continues to prioritize a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

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According to Nigerian National Television, the delegation met with the newly appointed civilian Prime Minister, Ali Muhammad Al-Amin Zain, and later with the Commander of the Military Council, General Abdul-Rahman Siani.

A source close to the delegation told AFP that the “mediation mission” was aimed at “calming tensions raised by the possibility of ECOWAS military intervention”.

The News Agency of Nigeria said that “earlier this week in Abuja the team met the current president of ECOWAS, President Paula Tinubu of Nigeria” to try to mediate between the organization and the rulers.

The voices of parliamentarians and political leaders are rising in Nigeria, calling on President Paula Tinubu to reconsider a possible military intervention by West African countries in Niger to restore constitutional order.

The delegation arrived in Niamey a day after ECOWAS postponed an important meeting scheduled for Saturday on the deployment of the intervention force.

He was due to meet the chiefs of forces of the countries of the Economic Community of West African States in the Ghanaian capital Accra to advise the organization’s leaders on the “best options” for their decision to implement. and use its “reserve force”.

However, according to regional military sources, the meeting was postponed for “technical reasons” without disclosing a new date.

On Saturday, Niger’s Foreign Minister, Hassoumi Massoudeau, wrote on X Platform (formerly Twitter), “The military option ECOWAS is seriously considering is not war against Niger and its people, but security action against hostage-takers and their partners.”

On Friday, thousands of supporters of Niger’s rulers gathered near a French military base in the capital, Niamey.

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“Down with France, down with ECOWAS,” demonstrators chanted during the rally, the day after an “ECOWAS” summit ended with an endorsement of possible military intervention in Niger.

Demonstrators hoisted Russian and Nigerian flags to assert their support for the army that seized power, particularly their leader, General Abdul-Rahman Siani.

“Long Stand”

Since the coup, the military has specifically targeted France, accusing West African countries of preparing to deploy its “reserve force” in Niger to restore constitutional order, without revealing a specific timetable for intervention.

France is deploying around 1,500 soldiers in Niger to support the Nigerian armed forces in their fight against extremist groups.

The Bushists also view ECOWAS as a “workshop” organization for France, and Paris accused Niger on Wednesday of violating Niger’s closed airspace, insisting that a French military plane had arrived from Chad and that the French military had “liberated the terrorists.” France has vehemently denied it.

Not all West African countries oppose the new authorities in Niger. Neighboring Mali and Burkina Faso, two military governments that seized power in two coups, have declared that any military intervention would represent a “declaration of war” on them.

New Nigerian Defense Minister General Salibu Modi made a short visit to Mali on Friday, an adviser to the Malian presidency said on condition of anonymity.

In turn, Russia on Friday reiterated its rejection of any military intervention in Niger, “which would lead to a long-term conflict in this African country and serious destabilization in the entire Sahara and Sahel region.”

Rolf Colon
Rolf Colon
"Creator. Award-winning problem solver. Music evangelist. Incurable introvert."

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