New Niger President Lashes Out At Jihadist 'war Crimes'
Faizan Hashmi 11 days ago Fri 02nd April 2021 | 09:52 PM
Niger's new President Mohamed Bazoum lashed out on Friday at jihadists who have carried out devastating attacks on his country, accusing them of "war crimes" as he took the helm of the troubled nation
Niamey, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 2nd Apr, 2021 ) :Niger's new President Mohamed Bazoum lashed out on Friday at jihadists who have carried out devastating attacks on his country, accusing them of "war crimes" as he took the helm of the troubled nation.
But the Sahel country's problems were deeply underscored in the run-up to Friday's ceremony, after a string of jihadist massacres and an alleged attempted coup just two days before the handover.
In his inauguration speech, Bazoum hit out at "terrorist groups whose barbarity has exceeded every limit." These groups "carry out large-scale massacres of innocent civilians, and in doing so, commit real war crimes," Bazoum declared.
Thousands of people have been killed, and hundreds of thousands have fled their homes.
Since the start of this year alone, more than 300 people have been killed in three attacks in the west.
Combatting them "will be very difficult so long as the Malian state does not exercise full sovereignty over these regions", he said.
"The current situation in Mali has a direct impact on domestic security in our country." Bazoum has previously ruled out any talks with the jihadists.
"We cannot envisage any dialogue of any kind so long as there is a single Nigerien jihadist chief, a single jihadist base on our territory," he said in a recent interview with French media outlets RFI and France 24.
- 'Cowardly act' - Bazoum, 61, is a former interior minister and right-hand man of outgoing president Mahamadou Issoufou, 68, who has voluntarily stepped down after two five-year terms -- a move that Bazoum saluted in his speech.
His inauguration has been showcased as a democratic watershed in a country that has suffered four coups in its history, most recently in February 2010.
Reminders of that volatility came in the early hours of Wednesday, when gunfire broke out near the presidency in the capital Niamey.
"Some arrests" were made, the source said.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres was among worried foreign leaders, calling on the armed forces "to strictly abide by their constitutional obligations".
Bazoum, in his speech, said the attempted coup was "very revealing of the state of mind of some of our compatriots... (who are) willing to compromise our country's future." He said he hoped for "the end of putschist and insurrectionist temptations" in Niger.
- Education for girls - Several African heads of state or government attended the ceremonies at Niamey's international conference centre, which was adorned with Niger's national colours of green, white and orange.