Military Junta Foil Escape Attempt By Outed Niger President

By Damilare Adeleye
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Military leaders in Niger Republic have said they had aborted an attempt by Mohamed Bazoum, the former president who was ousted in a coup in July, to escape their custody on Thursday.

“At around three in the morning, the ousted president Mohamed Bazoum and his family, his two cooks and two security elements, tried to escape from his place of detention,” the regime’s spokesman Amadou Abdramane said on state television.

He added that the escape bid failed as “the main actors and some of the accomplices” were arrested.

An investigation has also been launched to probe the incident further.

However, Abdramane said the escape plan had involved Bazoum at first getting to a hideout on the outskirts of the capital Niamey.

They had then planned to fly out on helicopters “belonging to a foreign power” towards Nigeria, he added, denouncing Bazoum’s “irresponsible attitude”.

Since he was toppled by the military on July 26, Bazoum has refused to resign. Until now, he had been held at his residence in the heart of the presidential palace along with his wife Haziza and son Salem.

Abdramane did not say where they were being held now.