U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, publicly voiced his demand for the immediate release of ousted Niger President Mohamed Bazoum and the swift restoration of democratic governance in the country. His statement comes in response to the recent coup in Niger, which saw General Abdourahamane Tiani designated as the new head of state, marking the seventh military takeover in West and Central Africa within a short span of three years.
Since the coup, President Bazoum has remained silent, with no public statements to address the situation. However, he previously took to social media to assert his commitment to safeguarding the hard-won democratic progress achieved by the nation.
Secretary Blinken revealed that he had spoken with President Bazoum over the phone but refrained from disclosing further details of their conversation. He emphasized that the United States is actively advocating for Bazoum’s immediate release and urging for the prompt reinstatement of democratic rule in Niger.
Niger had been regarded as a stable ally of the West in an otherwise volatile region before the recent coup disrupted its political landscape. In light of the developments, Blinken underscored the significance of the U.S.’ economic and security partnership with Niger, which amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars, contingent upon the preservation of democratic governance and constitutional order in the country. These core values have been challenged in the wake of the coup, prompting urgent calls for their restoration.