ECOWAS court orders reinstatement of Niger’s ousted Bazoum

Mohamed Bazoum was overthrown by members of his presidential guard on July 26 and has been detained with his family since then.

A West African court has ruled that the ousted president of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum, and his family have been arbitrarily detained and called for his reinstatement.

Bazoum was overthrown by members of his presidential guard on July 26 and has been detained at home with his wife and child since.

The coup was widely condemned and prompted sanctions from West Africa’s main political and economic bloc, the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), amid widespread calls for a return to democratic rule.

On Friday, the ECOWAS Court of Justice sitting in Abuja ordered Niger’s military government to re-establish constitutional order through Bazoum’s reinstatement. The judge, Gberi-Be Ouattara, called for his immediate and unconditional release.

According to his lawyer Seydou Diagne, Bazoum filed a lawsuit before the court on September 16 to free him.

The Nigerien military government also filed a suit before the court in November to order the lifting of the sanctions imposed on the country by ECOWAS. The request was denied this December.

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