Nigerien Junta Detains 180 Ministers and Officials Linked to Ousted Ruling Party

In the aftermath of last week’s coup that saw the military taking control of Niger’s government, concerns have been raised about the fate of the democratically elected administration. The previous ruling party reported that over 180 members of the ousted government have been detained by the new military rulers.

Prominent figures among those detained include Energy Minister Mahamane Sani Mahamadou, Mines Minister Ousseini Hadizatou, and Foumakoye Gado, the president of the Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS), as stated by PNDS spokesman, Hamid N’Gadé.

Others taken into custody include Interior Minister Hama Adamou Souley, Transport Minister Oumarou Malam Alma, and his deputy, Kalla Moutari.

Mr N’Gade said the “abusive arrests” were evidence of “the repressive, dictatorial and unlawful behaviour” of the military.

Mr Tchiani had appointed himself as the new ruler on Friday after officers from his elite unit oust Niger’s democratically elected President Mohammed Bazoum on Wednesday.

Shortly afterwards, the coup plotters suspended the West African country’s constitution and dissolved all constitutional institutions.

The coup has been internationally condemned with ECOWAS threatening military intervention if Mr. Bazoum was not released and reinstated within a week.

The European Union has also supported ECOWAS proposed measures. EU Foreign Affairs Chief, Josep Borrell made this known in a statement on Monday.

Mr Bazoum remains the sole head of state of the country, and any other authority cannot be recognised, Mr Borrell said.

-Jesse Voyamba