Niger Coup: Soldiers Arrest ‘Former’ President’s Ministers

The junta that seized power in Niger on July 26 arrested four ministers, a former minister, and the leader of ousted president Mohamed Bazoum’s party, the party said on Monday.

“After the president was detained last week, the putschists went on the attack again and carried out more arrests,” the Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS) said in a statement to AFP

According to the report, Oil Minister Mahamane Sani Mahamadou, the son of influential former president Mahamadou Issoufou, and Mining Minister Ousseini Hadizatou were arrested on Monday morning.

The head of the PNDS’s national executive committee, Fourmakoye Gado, was also arrested, it said.

The junta had previously arrested Interior Minister Hama Amadou Souley, Transport Minister Oumarou Malam Alma and Kalla Moutari, an MP and former defence minister the party said.

It called for their immediate release, saying Niger risked becoming a “dictatorial and totalitarian regime.”

A source close to the presidency said the minister for vocational teaching, Kassoum Moctar, had also been arrested.

The arrests coincided with a statement by the junta requiring “all former ministers and heads of institutions” to hand back their office cars by noon.

Bazoum was toppled last Wednesday by members of the presidential guard, whose head, Abdourahamane Tiani, has declared himself the country’s new leader.

His claim is unrecognised internationally and the West African regional bloc ECOWAS has warned of possible military intervention if the putschists fail to hand back power by Sunday.

Western allies of Niger have also suspended aid to the country or threatened to do so.

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