former Niger president Mohamed Bazoum
former Niger president Mohamed Bazoum

the military commanders of Niger prevented former president Mohamed Bazoum from evading arrest.

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According to the regime’s spokesman Amadou Abdramane, Bazoum, who was toppled by the military on July 26, tried to depart in the middle of the night with his family, chefs, and guards.

An investigation has also been launched. The escape plan had involved Bazoum at first getting to a hideout on the outskirts of the capital Niamey, said Abdramane.

The former leader had then planned to fly out on helicopters belonging to a foreign power.

Since being overthrown, Bazoum had been held at the presidential palace in the capital Niamey, alongside his wife and son.

In September, his lawyers said he filed a legal case with a court of the Economic Community of West African States against those who deposed him and were also taking his case to the UN Human Rights Council.

The attempted escape comes as the first group of French troops arrived in neighboring Chad on Thursday, after being ordered out by Niger’s military rulers.

France has continued to support the ousted leader since the coup and is calling for his release.

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