The United States has expressed its commitment to hold the military junta accountable for the safety of President Mohamed Bazoum, his family, and detained government members in Niger. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced this stance, joining the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in calling for the restoration of constitutional order in Niger.
In response to the military coup that overthrew the democratically elected president, the United States recently suspended certain foreign assistance programs for Niger. Similarly, ECOWAS has ordered the activation of a standby force, considering all options, including force, for the peaceful restoration of democracy in Niger.
The junta’s refusal to abide by ECOWAS’ deadline and its closure of Niger’s airspace have raised tensions in the region. Niger, being a major uranium producer and valuable ally of the West in combating Islamist insurgencies in the Sahel region, is now facing the threat of invasion.
Recognizing the determination of ECOWAS to seek a peaceful resolution, the United States appreciates the bloc’s efforts to explore all options. However, the US remains firm that the junta must step down and allow the return to constitutional governance.
In light of the escalating crisis, ECOWAS has pledged to impose sanctions, travel bans, and asset freezes on those obstructing the reinstatement of President Bazoum. The international community is closely monitoring the situation, emphasizing the importance of democratic principles and the rule of law.
The United States, in alignment with its commitment to human rights and democratic processes, firmly supports the restoration of constitutional order in Niger. It stands ready to work with ECOWAS and other international partners to ensure the safety and well-being of elected leaders and the people of Niger.