Bazoum wants regional court to reinstate him as President of Niger | ANG
  • December 9, 2023

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The deposed president of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum, has decided to take his case to the West African justice system to obtain his release and the restoration of constitutional order in the country, almost two months after a coup d’état carried out by soldiers who overthrew him and are still holding him captive.

“We ask in view of the violation of political rights, that the State of Niger be condemned to the immediate restoration of constitutional order by handing over power to President Bazoum, who must continue to exercise it until the end of his mandate on April 2, 2026”, his Senegalese lawyer, Maître Seydou Diagne, told our journalist on Wednesday.

The petition filed with the Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) on September 18 alleges “arbitrary arrest” and “violation of the freedom of movement” of President Mohamed Bazoum, his wife Haziza and son Salem, detained with him at the presidential palace since the coup d’état on July 26.

According to Maître Diagne, his “clients are victims of serious and intolerable human rights violations. They have the right to take their case to the competent courts. This can’t aggravate their situation, it’s a reason to hope that justice will be done.

In the event of a favorable decision, “the State of Niger has(ura) the legal obligation to execute the decision”, he assured.

“What we’re interested in is getting the State of Niger condemned by a court decision. Mr. Bazoum’s fight is a fight through the law”, he stressed.

Maître Seydou Diagne also asserted that “General (Abdourahamane) Tiani (head of the military regime, editor’s note) is not empowered by Nigerien law to make arrests. He has been appointed by decree since 2011 to ensure the President’s security”.

The organization’s Court of Justice is the main jurisdiction of Ecowas, made up of 5 judges chosen from among the nationals of member states.

In mid-August, the coup plotters announced their intention to “prosecute” Mohamed Bazoum for “high treason” and “undermining the security” of the country.

Bazoum and Ecowas backed

Ecowas has been threatening the coup plotters with military intervention since July 30 to restore constitutional order.

It had announced that the day and modalities of the operation had been decided, prioritizing diplomatic channels, but is now remaining relatively silent, despite the support of several Western countries.

On Wednesday, the European Union (EU) reiterated its “support for the position of Ecowas”, once again calling for “the immediate and unconditional release of President Bazoum and his family”, and “does not recognize the authorities resulting from the putsch”, Nabila Massrali, spokeswoman for EU diplomatic chief Josep Borrell.

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