As it occurred.
On Saturday, Mohamed Bazoum, the President of Nigerien, was seen by his entourage, who expressed concerns about his health. He had been detained since being ousted by members of his guard in a coup d’Etat on July 26, and he was also scheduled to attend an emergency meeting with army chiefs of staff at West African bloc ECOWAS. Our live blog will provide updates on the day’s events.
This file photo captures a meeting between Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the presidential palace in Niamey on May 2, 2022.
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France and the US are not on equal footing, as evidenced by their differing perspectives at 9:31pm.
FRANCE 24’s Senior Reporter, Catherine Norris Trent, is reporting from West Africa on a complex situation where multiple parallel developments are occurring simultaneously.
According to diplomatic sources on the ground, France and the USA, who both have troops in Niger, are not at an exact same level.
The time is 02:53.
At 8:16pm, a gathering of Nigerian clergymen and military junta members takes place in Niger.
According to sources within the government and the delegation, Nigerian religious leaders traveled to Niger on Saturday to meet with military personnel who took control in the previous month.
According to Niger’s ANP press agency, the delegation was welcomed by newly appointed Prime Minister Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine at Diori Hamani airport in the capital.
Sheikh Bala Lau, the leader of the Izala Salafist movement in Nigeria, leads a delegation consisting of Muslim religious leaders.
According to an insider who spoke to AFP, the delegation had left for their mediation mission with the approval of Nigerian leader Bola Tinubu, who is currently serving as president of the West African bloc ECOWAS.
The clerical delegation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, is in Niamey under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to alleviate tension caused by the possibility of military intervention by ECOWAS.
The clerics are in Niamey to make it clear to the junta leaders that Nigeria is not engaged in any military conflict with Niger and that the decisions made regarding Nige are not those of Nigeria, but rather of ECOWAS as a regional bloc.
The source stated that Lau had led a group of clergymen who met with Tinubu in his office in Nigeria’s capital earlier in the week and discussed the mission.
The ECOWAS parliament is set to send a committee to meet with Niger coup leaders at 7:07pm.
A parliament representative stated on Saturday that ECOWAS, the regional bloc in West Africa, intends to send a committee to Niger to meet with coup leaders who have resisted diplomatic efforts to reinstate civilian rule.
Niger President Bazoum’s entourage reported seeing a doctor at 4:40pm.
According to his entourage, Mohamed Bazoum, the President of Nigerien, was seen by his doctor on Saturday after being detained by members of his guard last month due to health concerns.
According to an AFP member in the president’s entourage, his doctor visited him today and provided food for Bazoum, along with his wife and son who are being held.
“He’s in a good condition, considering the circumstances,” the source added.
Niger’s FM announced that the ECOWAS military operation would be a “police operation” at 12:20pm.
The Foreign Minister of Niger, Hassoumi Massaoudou, refuted on Saturday that the military intervention proposed by ECOWAS in Nerbo would be considered a war against the country’s citizens, instead referring to it as policing operation against hostage-takers.
ECOWAS’s military option was not intended to be a war against Niger and its people, but rather to engage in policing of hostage-taker and their associates.
This week, the European Union and the African Union issued a statement calling for the release of President Mohamed Bazoum, who has been detained in his home since the July 26 coup d’état.
Volker Turk, the UN human rights chief, stated that Bazoum’s detention conditions could be considered a violation of international human right and may constitute inhuman and degrading treatment.
The military option that was voted on by the people of Cedeao is not a war against Niger or its inhabitants, but rather policing efforts to protect vulnerable populations and their allies.
The armed’standby force’ of ECOWAS is still being worked out at 10:06am.
Diplomatic sources suggest that ECOWAS may seek EU funding to unite a military force for its planned intervention in Niger. Catherine Norris Trent, FRANCE 24 senior reporter, discusses the legal, logistical, and financial challenges faced by the West African bloc as it considers its next steps.
At 9:02am, the regional bloc was put in a state of disarray due to demonstrations against ECOWAS intervention.
According to FRANCE 24 correspondent Chinwe Ossondu, the regional bloc’s decision to postpone a crucial military meeting in Niger may have been influenced by widespread protests against military intervention and allegations that France is behind ECOWAS’ plan to reinstate President Bazoum by using force.
ECOWAS must also consider the demands of either the junta or the people who support the regime, according to her statement. She also noted that democracy falls under the voice of the populace, which it has been neglecting to some extent.
The time now is 03:27.
At Niger, a gathering of thousands of coup supporters is taking place at 4:30am as ECOWAS suspends their military meeting indefinitely.
A crucial regional meeting on a potential intervention was abandoned as thousands of supporters of the Niger coup protested Friday, opposing plans by West African nations to send armed forces into the country.
ECOWAS has authorized a “standby force” to work towards the reinstatement of elected President Mohamed Bazoum, while the EU’s top diplomat expressed concern about his conditions in custody since he was removed by his guard on July 26th.
On Friday, local military sources revealed that a meeting on Saturday in Accra, Ghana would be attended by chiefs of staff from member states of the West African bloc.
They later affirmed that the meeting had been suspended indefinitely for “technical reasons”.
According to insiders, the meeting was initially organized to provide the organization’s top brass with information on the most effective options for deploying the standby force.
ECOWAS has not disclosed the force or timeframe for action, and the leaders have reiterated their commitment to a peaceful resolution.
Important facts as of Friday, August 11:.
In Niger’s capital Niamey, a demonstration took place on Friday evening, where thousands of supporters of the coup stood in front of French military personnel. This occurred shortly after ECOWAS announced its intention to intervene militarily.
The UN human rights chief expressed concern over the conditions of the ousted leader of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum, and his family on Friday.
Volker Turk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, stated that they have received credible reports indicating that the conditions of detention could be considered inhumane and degrading treatment, which is not in line with international human rights law.
Take a look at yesterday’s live blog to gain insight into the day.
France 24 is joined by AFP, AP, and Reuters in the news.
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