Niger’s military rulers said they had foiled an attempt by Mohamed Bazoum, the former president they ousted in a coup in July, to escape their custody on Thursday, October 19.
“At around three in the morning, the ousted president Mohamed Bazoum and his family, his two cooks and two security elements, tried to escape from his place of detention,” the regime’s spokesman Amadou Abdramane said on state television.
The escape bid failed and “the main actors and some of the accomplices” had been arrested, he added, in the broadcast late Thursday. The escape plan had involved Bazoum at first getting to a hideout on the outskirts of the capital Niamey, said Abdramane.
They had then planned to fly out on helicopters “belonging to a foreign power” towards Nigeria, he added, denouncing Bazoum’s “irresponsible attitude”.
Since he was toppled by the military on July 26, Bazoum has refused to resign. Until now, he has been held at his residence in the heart of the presidential palace along with his wife Haziza and son Salem. Abdramane did not say where they were now being held.