Niger’s military junta has announced plans to prosecute deposed President Mohamed Bazoum for high treason and undermining national security.
This is the latest sign that the junta intends to resist international pressure to return power to Mr Bazoum.
He has been held in the basement of his palace since the military staged a coup about three weeks ago.
It would be recalled that the head of the presidential guards unit, General Abdourahmane Tchiani, declared himself Niger’s new ruler on the 26th of July after overthrowing his principal.
The West African regional bloc ECOWAS has threatened military action to reverse the coup, but it has so far failed to follow through on its threat.
The coup leaders have warned they will defend themselves against any intervention.
ECOWAS has also imposed sanctions on the junta, including cutting electricity to Niger, causing blackouts in the capital Niamey, and other major cities.