The son of Niger’s ambassador to France has been detained in Niamey, the ambassador told journalists on Wednesday. It is unclear whether he was taken into custody due to his involvement in an ongoing anti-corruption case or to his mother’s refusal to follow the military junta’s orders and quit her role. Read our live blog for all the latest developments
12:18 p.m.: Son of Niger ambassador to France detained in Niamey
The son of Niger’s ambassador to France, Idrissa Kané, has been detained in Niamey, the ambassador told AFP on Wednesday.
Mr. Kané is the general manager of Niger’s Post Office and is involved in a case of alleged misappropriation of public funds being handled by Niger’s anti-corruption body, Halcia.
It is unclear whether he was taken into custody due to this case or due to his mother’s defiant attitude towards Niger’s new military leaders.
Ambassador Aïchatou Boulama Kané has remained in her post despite a declaration from the coup leaders on Thursday that it was “terminating” roles for Niger’s ambassadors to France, the United States, Nigeria, and Togo.
Ms. Kané told AFP on Friday that she was “still the ambassador of the legitimate President Bazoum Mohamed”.
She said the decision to terminate her role was “null and void, it was taken by an illegitimate power. I am the ambassador of Niger in France”.
1:11 pm: Blinken discussed a US diplomat’s visit to Niger in a call with Bazoum
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum on Tuesday about a visit to the country’s capital by American diplomat Victoria Nuland, the State Department said.
“The two discussed Acting Deputy Secretary Nuland’s recent trip to Niamey and the secretary conveyed the United States’ ongoing support for a solution that restores Niger to democratic rule and constitutional order,” the department said in a statement Wednesday. “The secretary also emphasized that the safety and security of President Bazoum and his family are paramount.”
11:10 am: Former Niger rebel creates movement to reinstate ousted President Bazoum
A former rebel leader and politician in Niger, Rhissa Ag Boula, has created a political movement called the Council of Resistance for the Republic (CRR) to restore ousted President Mohamed Bazoum to power, he said in a statement on Wednesday.
The movement will support international efforts to restore constitutional order in Niger, the statement said, in the first sign of internal resistance to a July military coup.
9:01 am: ECOWAS leaders mull next move after Niger junta refuses delegation visit
Attempts at diplomacy seem to have stalled in Niger after coup leaders on Tuesday refused to host an ECOWAS delegation, citing security concerns due to public anger over ECOWAS economic sanctions already in place.
“Negotiations are at a difficult point,” says France 24’s Catherine Norris-Trent, reporting from Cotonou, Benin. “Heads of state from ECOWAS will be meeting in Abuja [Nigeria] this Thursday… We’ll have to wait and see what comes out of that [meeting].”
8:30 am: Niger sanctions, airspace closure set to hit country’s poor
Some 4.3 million people in Niger are in need of aid, including access to food, medicine, and basic goods, according to the UN, a figure that is likely to rise as international sanctions come into effect following the military coup that ousted President Bazoum from power.
The junta’s decision on Sunday to close Niger’s airspace is also complicating efforts to bring humanitarian aid into the country, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Niger Louise Aubin told France 24. “This has certainly interrupted some of our humanitarian operations, given that we’re so reliant on having to cover vast space—it’s a huge country.”
6:02 am: Blinken reiterates calls for the release of Nigerien President Bazoum
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said late on Tuesday that he had spoken to Niger President Mohamed Bazoum to express continued efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the constitutional crisis in the West African country.
“The United States reiterates our call for the immediate release of him and his family,” he posted on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.
Key developments from Tuesday, August 8:
Coup leaders in Niger named Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine as the country’s new prime minister in a statement read out on national television.
The military junta later informed ECOWAS that it could not host a delegation from the West African regional bloc, citing reasons of security due to what it characterized as widespread anger among the Nigerien population following sanctions imposed by the bloc.
Nigeria‘s President Bola Tinubu has ordered new financial sanctions on Niger through Nigeria’s central bank, targeting entities and individuals involved in last month’s military coup, his spokesman Ajuri Ngelale said on Tuesday.