Mohamed Bazoum, Niger’s democratically elected president who has been toppled by the military junta, is reportedly living in a hostile situation.
In a series of text messages to a friend obtained by CNN on Wednesday, Bazoum said he has been “deprived of all human contact” with no one supplying him food or medicine.
The ousted president said all the perishable food he was supplied with has since gone bad and he is now forced to eat dry pasta and rice.
According to the texts, Bazoum added that he has also been living without electricity for a week – the result of a sanction from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
In the wake of the coup, Nigelec, Niger’s electricity company, announced that Nigeria’s government had cut supply to the neighbouring country, leading to blackouts in major cities.
The military junta in Niger had warned against foreign intervention in the country’s political situation, assuring that Bazoum’s wellbeing would be respected in exchange.
Efforts are still on to bring the situation in the Francophone country under control despite the hard stance maintained by the military junta. Measures taken so far by regional and international organisations have been met with hostilities.
On Tuesday, the country’s military authorities rejected a tripartite peace mission from ECOWAS, the African Union (AU), and the United Nations (UN).
ECOWAS said the diplomatic overtures were aborted following a late-night communication from the could leaders in Niger, indicating their unavailability to receive the delegation.
TheCable had also reported that Victoria Nuland, United States acting deputy secretary of state, was also denied permission to meet with Abdourahamane Tiani, coup leader, or with Bazoum.
Instead, she spoke for two hours with other army officers.
ECOWAS leaders are due to meet on Thursday in Nigeria to discuss how to proceed, especially as the military junta in Niger defied the bloc’s deadline on Sunday to reinstate Bazoum.
Meanwhile, Rhissa Ag Boula, a minister in Bazoum’s government and former rebel leader, announced the formation of an anti-junta resistance group that will “work to reestablish order” in Niger.
The group, Resistance Council for the Republic (CRR), urged the military to stand down and arrest Abdourahamane Tiani, Niger’s self-declared head of state.
The council also warned that “it will use all necessary means to eliminate this perfidious practice of questioning people’s choices by rogue and irresponsible soldiers”.