International

United States Confirms Military Coup in Niger For The First Time

In an unprecedented move, the United States has officially recognized the ousting of President Bazoum Mohammed in Niger as a coup d’état. Consequently, the U.S. has announced the suspension of $500 million in aid to the country, citing concerns over the removal of the elected government.

Matthew Miller, the spokesperson for the United States Department of State, released a statement outlining their stance. He emphasized that the aid funds will only be reinstated once the military responsible for the coup swiftly restores civilian governance.

Miller explained that this decision followed two months of diplomatic efforts, involving discussions with ECOWAS and the French government, to facilitate President Bazoum Mohammed’s return to power. Regrettably, these efforts proved unsuccessful.

Under a state of emergency declared by the military, Miller stressed that the expectation is for them to restore civilian rule within a timeframe of 90 to 120 days. However, current indications suggest that the military is not inclined to do so.

Cessation of Support

Citing U.S. laws, Miller clarified that the confirmation of a coup necessitates the suspension of provided aid. Consequently, they have halted $200 million in aid, including portions of the $442 million allocated for developing democracies.

Counterterrorism Focus

In terms of military presence, the United States has affirmed its commitment to maintaining at least one thousand soldiers in Niger. However, these troops will shift their role from training local counterparts to monitoring terrorist activities.

Additionally, the United States has expressed its intent to continue operating its drone base in Agadez, which plays a crucial role in counterterrorism efforts.