Niger’s Ousted President Bazoum To File Legal Case Against Military Junta and West African Collaborators

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Niger Republic’s ousted president, Mohamed Bazoum, is planning to institute legal action against some West African countries that allegedly supported a coup de tat that overthrew his government in July 2023.

According to AFP, it was confirmed by Bazoum’s lawyers, who said that they are appealing to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for their intervention to secure the immediate release of their client from arbitrary detention.

The lawsuit, which was obtained on Monday, October 2, 2023, is directed at General Abdourahamane Tiani and all the others.

According to one of the lawyers, Dominique Inchauspe, it is anticipated that it will be filed with a court in the capital, Niamey, in the coming days.

“It is a civil lawsuit that asserts attacks and conspiracies against state authority, crimes and offences committed by civil servants, and arbitrary arrests and confinements,” Inchauspe said.

Inchauspe called the coup an infringement on the dignity of the Nigerien state and emphasised the absolute necessity of restoring the rule of law.

On July 26, 2023, a coup d’état occurred in Niger when the country’s presidential guard detained president Mohamed Bazoum and presidential guard commander General Abdourahamane Tchiani proclaimed himself the leader of a new military junta, shortly after confirming the coup as a success. He has been held in his residence since the coup.

Bazoum’s Senegalese lawyer, Seydou Diagne, said on September 18, 2023, that he filed a lawsuit with a court of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

As ECOWAS threatens a military intervention to reinstate Bazoum, neighbouring countries Burkina Faso and Mali have reiterated their support for the ruling junta.

As a response, ECOWAS told Niger coup leaders there was still time to reconsider. The West African regional bloc still threatens a military intervention, though it prefers a more diplomatic approach.

ECOWAS also rejected a proposal by Niger’s junta for a three-year transition to democratic rule, deeming it a provocation.

Meanwhile, leaders of the bloc are currently negotiating with military administrations in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea, who are all working towards transitions to democracy.

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