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Concern Grows About Health of Detained Niger President

Following concerns expressed by human rights groups and others over the health and living conditions of President Mohamed Bazoum of Niger, who has been detained since being ousted in a military coup on July 26, he received a medical visit on Saturday, Deutsche Welle reports.

Bazoum’s doctor told Radio France Internationale following the visit that “the president’s morale is high.” A member of Bazoum’s entourage also told Agence France-Presse that “He’s fine, given the situation.”

The African Union had expressed its concern at the president’s health and called for his “immediate” release.

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“The president of the Commission [of the African Union] calls for the immediate release of President Bazoum,” Commission President Moussa Faki Mahamat said in a statement published on Friday.

The European Union and the United Nations had also voiced concern, and the rights group, Human Rights Watch, called on coup leaders to ensure the safety and well-being of President Bazoum, his family, and others arbitrarily detained.

Moussa Faki also said that the AU supported the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, in its dealing with the situation in Niger. ECOWAS said on Thursday that its forces were on “standby,” as it mulled the option of intervening in Niger as the military junta named its new government.

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