Rabat, Oct 20 (EFE).- The Niger military junta has claimed to have foiled an escape attempt by ousted president Mohamed Bazoum nearly three months after he was detained in a coup.
The deposed president, along with his family, two cooks, and two security personnel, attempted to flee his residence at the presidential palace, where he had been held since July 26, the junta spokesperson Amadou Abdramane said in a TV statement late on Thursday.
The spokesperson said Bazoum and his companions were trying to reach a waiting vehicle to get to the northern outskirts of the capital, Niamey.
From there, they were to fly out in two helicopters “belonging to a foreign power” to Nigeria, the spokesperson said without revealing which country was involved in the plan.
“The quick reaction of the defense and security forces thwarted the plan to destabilize our country,” Abdramane said, denouncing “the irresponsible attitude of the deposed president and his accomplices.”
The spokesperson confirmed the “main actors and some of the accomplices” had been arrested and an investigation into the incident was underway.
Since his removal from power in July, Bazoum has consistently refused to resign, with his legal team trying to bring his case before the United Nations Human Rights Council in opposition to the military leaders.
Since the coup, Niger has faced political, social, and economic crises caused by economic sanctions imposed on the country by the West African neighbors.
The sanctions have resulted in persistent power outages and higher food prices in the country.
Neighboring countries have asked the military junta to release Bazoum and reinstate constitutional order in the country. EFE