Niger leader announces new govt, names 21 ministers on state TV 0

Niger’s coup leaders have formed a new government, according to the country’s new strongman, General Abdourahamane Tiani, who read out a statement on national television on Wednesday night.

The 21-member government, announced just before an emergency summit of Niger’s West African neighbours in Abuja on Thursday, is headed by Prime Minister Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine and includes 20 ministers, including the defence and interior ministers.

The United Nations chief on Wednesday expressed grave concern over what he called the “deplorable” conditions of Niger leader Mohamed Bazoum’s detainment and called for his release.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres denounced “the deplorable living conditions that President Bazoum and his family are reported to be living under”, according to a UN statement.

CNN reported Wednesday that Bazoum was being kept isolated and forced to eat dry rice and pasta by the rebels who overthrew him in a coup late last month.

In a series of text messages Bazoum sent to a friend, the president said he had been “deprived of all human contact since Friday”, with no one supplying him food or medicine, the network reported.

Source: France 24