Two western officials told the press that Niger’s junta informed a top U.S. diplomat that they would kill deposed President Mohamed Bazoum if neighboring countries attempted any military intervention to restore his rule.
Representatives of the junta told U.S. Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland of the threat to Bazoum during her visit to the country this week, a Western military official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
A U.S. official confirmed that account, also speaking on condition of anonymity, because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
Bazoum Muhammed, a democratically elected President of Niger but deposed by the junta on July 26, says he is being held hostage at his residence.
The threat is coming at a time ECOWAS has just given order for a forceful action to restore democracy rule in Niger on Thursday.
West African heads of state met in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, to discuss next steps after Niger military junta defied their deadline of Sunday to reinstate Bazoum which they have resolved to use force to restore order in Niger.
The ECOWAS in their Thursday meeting has decided to use force through the military intervention to ensure the restoration of democracy in Niger.
The President of ECOWAS Commission, Dr Omar Alieu Touray made the declaration while reading the resolution of ECOWAS on the Niger coup at the ECOWAS Extraordinary meeting in Abuja on Thursday.
It also called on the African Union, AU, partner countries and institutions to support the resolution taken by the sub-regional body.
ECOWAS said all efforts made to dialogue with Niger Republic military junta have been defiantly rejected by coup leaders as they condemn continuous detention of President Mohamed Bazoum and his family members.
The resolution partly reads, “Direct the committee of the Chief of Defence Staff to activate the ECOWAS stand-by force with all its elements immediately.
“Order the deployment of the ECOWAS stand-by force to restore constitutional order in the Republic of Niger.
“Underscore its continued commitment to the restoration of constitutional order through peaceful means.”