The Prime Minister of Niger, Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine, on Friday, stated confidently that the deposed President, Mohamed Bazoum will face no harm.
Zeine, in an interview with The New York Times, said, “Nothing will happen to him because we don’t have a tradition of violence in Niger.”
He made clear the new leaders of Niger have no plans to collaborate with Russia or the Wagner group, backed by the Kremlin.
However, The New York Times highlighted the coup leaders’ reported actions, which included cutting off water and electricity to Bazoum’s residence and alleged threats to his life.
Amid these reports, the President of Nigeria, Bola Tinubu, warned of “grave consequences” if Bazoum’s health deteriorates.
At the UN, concerns over Bazoum’s health and status prompted inquiries from the media.
The spokesman to the Secretary-General of the UN, Antonio Guterres, Stephane Dujarric, said, “I’ve spoken to someone who speaks to him regularly. And, yes, as far as we know, we have no indication to say that he’s not alive. So, as far as I know, he’s alive.”
Zeine, who was appointed Niger’s prime minister on August 7, was also questioned by the Times on the presence of 1,100 American soldiers and 1,500 French soldiers fighting against jihadists in anti-terrorist operations with the local army.
Zeine, a French-trained economist who had served as finance minister in a previous administration, said “the moment will come to review” such military partnerships while praising the “extremely reasonable position” of the White House in trying to resolve the crisis through diplomacy rather than force.