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HomeNewsNiger Coupists Threatens To Kill Bazoum Over Planned Military Intervention

Niger Coupists Threatens To Kill Bazoum Over Planned Military Intervention

Niger’s junta has threatened to kill ousted President Mohamed Bazoum if neighbouring countries attempt any military intervention to reinstate him.

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According to a report by The Associated Press on Thursday, two “Western officials” said the putschists issued the threat while speaking to a top U.S. diplomat.

This came shortly before the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said it had directed the deployment of a “standby force” to restore democracy in Niger, after its deadline of Sunday to restore Bazoum’s government expired.

The threat to the deposed president raises the stakes both for ECOWAS and for the junta, which has shown its willingness to escalate its actions since it seized power on July 26.

Niger was seen as the last country in the Sahel region south of the Sahara Desert that Western nations could partner with to counter jihadi violence linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group that has killed thousands and displaced millions of people.

The international community is scrambling to find a peaceful solution to the country’s leadership crisis.

The AP report disclosed that a Western military official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation, said representatives of the junta told U.S. Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland of the threat to Bazoum during her visit to the country this week.

A U.S. official reportedly confirmed that account, also speaking on condition of anonymity, because they were not authorised to speak to the media.

The threats from both sides escalate tensions but hopefully nudge them closer to actually talking, said Aneliese Bernard, a former U.S. State Department official who specialised in African affairs and is now director of Strategic Stabilization Advisors, a risk advisory group.

Nine leaders from the 15-member West African bloc met Thursday in Abuja, to discuss their next steps.

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