Niger President calls on US for help after coup – Capital Radio Malawi
13 June, 2024

Niger President calls on US for help after coup

Supporters of the coup

Niger’s ousted leader has urged the US and “entire international community” to help “restore… constitutional order” after last week’s coup.

In an opinion piece in the Washington Post, President Mohamed Bazoum said he was writing “as a hostage”.

He also warned that the region could fall further under Russian influence, via the Wagner Group which already operates in neighbouring countries.

Niger’s West African neighbours have threatened military intervention.

On Thursday, the coup leaders announced they were withdrawing the country’s ambassadors from France, the US, Nigeria and Togo.

In a statement read out on national television, they said the functions of the four ambassadors had been “terminated”.

Only hours before, Niger’s ambassador to the US, Kiari Liman-Tinguiri, told the AFP news agency that the junta “should come to reason” and “realise that this affair cannot succeed”.

The junta also announced it was cutting bilateral military ties with former colonial power France. The country currently has around 1,500 troops in Niger and has been part of a force combating Islamist militancy.

France has responded by saying that only “legitimate” governments could alter agreements.

The West African regional group, Ecowas, has imposed sanctions and given the junta until the end of the weekend to reinstate the president or face the possibility of military intervention.

It is also trying to pursue a diplomatic solution, but an Ecowas delegation, that arrived in Niger on Thursday, left after just a few hours without any sign of progress.

Niger is a significant uranium producer – a fuel that is vital for nuclear power – and under Bazoum was a key Western ally in the fight against Islamist militants in West Africa’s Sahel region.

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