Mohamed Bazoum, the deposed president of Niger, has reportedly tried to escape custody.
The military rulers in Niger have said they foiled an attempt by Mohamed Bazoum to escape their custody on Thursday. Mohamed Bazoum, the country’s former president, was ousted in a coup in July 2023.
“At around 3:00 a.m. in the morning, the ousted president Mohamed Bazoum and his family, his two cooks, and two security elements tried to escape from his place of detention,” the junta spokesman, Amadou Abdramane, said on state television.
The junta added that the escape plan ended in a fiasco as “the main actors and some of the accomplices” were arrested.
Abdramane added that an investigation has also been launched.
The escape plan involved Bazoum at first getting to a hideout on the outskirts of the capital, Niamey, said Abdramane.
They had then planned to fly out on helicopters “belonging to a foreign power” towards Nigeria, he added, denouncing Bazoum’s “irresponsible attitude”.
Bazoum has refused to resign since the military overthrew him on July 26. Until now, he had been held at his residence in the heart of the presidential palace, along with his wife Haziza and son Salem.
Abdramane did not say where they were being held now.
In September, Bazoum’s lawyers said he filed a legal case with a court of the Economic Community of West African States against those who deposed him.
They also said they were taking his case to the UN Human Rights Council. The army officers who overthrew Bazoum cited as justification the deteriorating security situation in the country because of jihadist attacks.