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U.S. Halts Over $500 Million In Aid To Niger Over Coup

Fawaz Adebisi

The United States has made the decision to suspend the majority of its aid to the government of Niger following the recent coup that unseated the country’s elected leadership.

Recall that on July 26, 2023, a coup d’état unfolded in Niger, with the country’s presidential guard detaining President Mohamed Bazoum.

The commander of the Presidential Guard, General Abdourahamane Tchiani declared himself the leader of a new military junta, confirming the success of the coup.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Matthew Miller, Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, announced that the United States has officially recognized the occurrence of a military coup in Niger.

As per Section 7008 of the Department of State’s annual appropriations act, the United States is suspending the majority of its assistance to the government of Niger.

“On August 5, the United States temporarily paused certain foreign assistance programs to the government of Niger, totaling nearly $200 million. This assistance is now also suspended in accordance with Section 7008 of the Department of State’s annual appropriations act.

“We should also note the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s suspension of all aid to Niger, including the preparation for the $302 million Niger Regional Transportation Compact and any new activities related to its 2018 Compact,” Miller added.

Miller emphasized that the United States remains committed to providing life-saving humanitarian, food, and health aid to benefit the people of Niger. The U.S. also intends to continue working with regional governments, including Niger, to promote shared interests in West Africa.

“We stand with the Nigerien people in their quest for democracy, prosperity, and stability. Since the coup, we have been supportive of the Economic Community of West African States’ efforts to collaborate with Niger to restore democratic governance.

“Any resumption of U.S. assistance will be contingent on action by the National Council for Safeguarding the Homeland to facilitate the swift and credible transition to democratic governance.

“The United States reiterates its call for the release of Mohamed Bazoum, his family, and all those detained,” Miller stated.

Earlier, U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken engaged with the ousted Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum.

The Department’s spokesman, Miller, conveyed that Secretary Blinken reiterated the U.S. stance that a democratically elected, civilian-led government provides the best opportunity for Niger to remain a robust partner in security and development in the region.

“The United States urges the immediate release of all individuals unjustly detained following the military takeover,” he stressed.

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