A Nigerien military tribunal has granted provisional release to Mohamed Bazoum Salem, the 23-year-old son of the recently ousted President Mohamed Bazoum. This decision, announced in Niamey’s capital on Monday, marks a significant development in the aftermath of the military coup that shook the nation in July.
Salem had been under house arrest alongside his parents at the presidential residence since the coup. The military intervention, one of eight witnessed in West and Central Africa since 2020, garnered widespread condemnation, triggered sanctions from the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), and sparked global demands for Bazoum’s reinstatement and a return to democratic governance.
Remarkably, the tribunal’s statement lacked details concerning the fate of Salem’s parents, adding an element of mystery to the unfolding narrative.
Last month, the ECOWAS Court of Justice delivered a decisive ruling, deeming the detention of Bazoum’s family as arbitrary and ordering the immediate reinstatement of the ousted president. The court’s decisions are final, with no avenue for appeal, and it has granted the junta a one-month window to outline the execution plan for this order, according to legal sources.
The aftermath of the July 26 coup saw indictments for Bazoum and his son. Salem specifically faced charges of conspiracy aimed at undermining the state’s authority or security.
Notably, the family’s living conditions have been dire, lacking access to essential utilities such as running water and electricity, as reported by Bazoum’s political party and their relatives.
Furthermore, the family’s legal representatives disclosed that they have been denied access to meet with a magistrate and have not been informed about any legal proceedings initiated against them, adding layers of uncertainty to their plight.