The African Union on Friday expressed “deep concern” at the reported poor conditions of Niger President Mohamed Bazoum’s detention, calling his treatment at the hands of coup leaders “unacceptable”.
“Such treatment of a democratically elected president through a regular electoral process is unacceptable,” AU Commission head Moussa Faki Mahamat said in a statement, joining a chorus of concern about 63-year-old Bazoum, who was overthrown by military chiefs last month.
“Concordant sources attest to a worrying deterioration” of conditions, Faki said.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres have also spoken out about the worsening conditions that Bazoum and his family are reportedly living under.
CNN reported Wednesday that Bazoum was being kept in isolation and forced to eat plain rice and pasta, with no access to medicines.
Faki also expressed his “strong support” for the decisions adopted by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which on Thursday approved the deployment of a standby force to restore constitutional order in Niger.
An attempt this week to send a joint team of ECOWAS, UN and AU representatives to Niger’s capital Niamey was rejected by the coup leaders.