Concern mounts for detained president in Niger’s coup crisis

Niamey, Niger-Fears for Niger’s detained president mounted on Friday, a day after West African leaders declared they would muster a “standby” force in their efforts to return him to power. The European Union and African Union joined the United States and other voices in sounding the alarm for democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum, who was ousted by members of his guard on July 26.
“Bazoum and his family, according to the latest information, have been deprived of food, electricity and medical care for several days,” said EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, calling for the leader’s immediate restoration to office.
The AU echoed the concern, saying “such treatment of a democratically elected president” was “unacceptable.”
A source close to Bazoum said “he’s OK, but the conditions are very difficult,” adding that the coup leaders had brandished the threat of assaulting him in the event of military intervention.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) said it had spoken to Bazoum, his doctor, his family lawyer, a former communications advisor and a family friend on Wednesday and Thursday.

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