Niger coup: I’m held hostage, Sahel may fall to Russia – President Bazoum

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By Seun Opejobi

The ousted President of Niger Republic, Mohamed Bazoum has called for an end of the coup that removed him from office.

Describing himself as a hostage, Bazoum said he is part of the hundred Nigeriens illegally imprisoned by the junta.

In a column in The Washington Post, Bazoum lamented that the Sahel region may fall to Russia.

He called on “the US government and the entire international community to help restore the country’s constitutional order.

Bazoum’s government was ousted by his presidential guard on July 26.

However, the former president wrote: “I write this as a hostage.

“Niger is under attack from a military junta… and I am just one of the hundreds of citizens who have been arbitrarily and illegally imprisoned.”

“This coup must end, and the junta must free everyone they have unlawfully arrested.

“In Africa’s troubled Sahel region, Niger stands as the last bastion of respect for human rights amid the authoritarian movements that have overtaken some of our neighbours.

“The entire Sahel region could fall to Russian influence via the Wagner Group, whose brutal terrorism has been on full display in Ukraine.”

Bazoum noted that terrorist movements like Boko Haram “will surely take advantage of Niger’s instability, using the country as a staging ground to attack neighbouring countries and undermine peace, safety and freedom around the world.

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