According to reports, the coup leaders in the Niger Republic threatened to assassinate overthrown President Mohamed Bazoum if neighboring nations tried to intervene militarily.
The junta reportedly informed Victoria Nuland, the US under secretary of state, about the threat against Bazoum during her visit to the nation this week, according to the AP.
On the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the material, a US official was quoted in the paper as having corroborated the narrative.
The threats have the potential to escalate tensions on both sides, according to Aneliese Bernard, a former US State Department official with expertise in African issues.
Still, she was cited as stating, “This junta has escalated its actions so quickly that it is possible they do something more extreme, as that has been their approach so far.”
Following its meeting on Thursday in Abuja, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) made a series of resolutions to deal with the Niger situation.
The bloc denounced Bazoum’s hostage situation and demanded that the Niger military government ensure the security of the imprisoned leader, his family, and the democratically elected government.
The head of the commission was also tasked by ECOWAS with overseeing the application of the sanctions on Niger, and the “committee of the chief of defence staff” was instructed to “immediately activate the ECOWAS standby force with all its elements.”
On July 26, Bazoum was overthrown in an unbloody coup. Since then, the junta has established a government to manage the country’s affairs.