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‘You Few Men’s Action Threaten Multi Million Dollars Assistance For Nigeriens’, Blinken Tells Tchiani

The Oasis Reporters

July 30, 2023







Coup supporters set fire to Niger ruling party headquarters in Niamey © Issifou Djibo/EPA/Shutterstock




Supporters of Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum demonstrate in his support in Niamey, Niger, Wednesday July 26, 2023.

Blinken offers ‘unflagging’ US support to ousted Niger Republic president

US Secretary of State said Washington would keep working to “ensure the full restoration of constitutional order and democratic rule in Niger.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken offered Niger’s ousted leader Mohamed Bazoum Washington’s steadfast support, and warned those detaining him that “hundreds of millions of dollars of assistance” was at risk, the State Department said Friday.



Meanwhile, coup leader, Tchiani says he has taken over because of deteriorating security and economic hardship.


Abdourahmane Tchiani © OR/Télé Sahel/AFP/Getty Images Niger coup leader declares himself country’s new president.

However, observers in the capital, Niamey say Abdourahmane Tchiani’s move was triggered after President Mohamed Bazoum sought to remove him from office as he approached retirement age.

Reacting to the threat of withholding aid to the country, due to the military takeover, coup d’état, Niger Military says they should keep their aid and give it to their millions of homeless people in the United States of America. Charity begins at home.

General Abdourahamane Tchiani, head of the Presidential Guard since 2011, has declared himself the new leader of Niger after a coup earlier this week in which the pro-Western Bazoum was detained.

Blinken, who was wrapping up a multi-nation Pacific tour, called Bazoum for the second time in as many days to offer America’s “unflagging support,” department spokesman Matt Miller said in a statement.


The US secretary of state also “praised Bazoum’s role in promoting security not only in Niger but the wider West Africa region,” and said Washington would keep working to “ensure the full restoration of constitutional order and democratic rule in Niger.”

In a separate call to former Nigerien leader Mahamadou Issoufou, Blinken expressed concern over Bazoum’s ongoing detention, and that “negotiations to ensure constitutional order in Niger were at an impasse.”

He told Issoufou that he “regretted that those detaining Bazoum were threatening years of successful cooperation and hundreds of millions of dollars of assistance” to Niamey, and asked Issoufou to keep working on Bazoum’s behalf, Miller said.

Washington had already warned it could cease security and other cooperation with Niger, where about 1,000 US troops are stationed — for now.
Blinken also spoke with French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna about the situation in Niger, emphasizing the “urgency of efforts to restore constitutional order” in the jihadist-hit West African nation.

The naming of Tchiani, 62, came as Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of Russia’s Wagner Group, welcomed the coup in Niger and offered its new leaders the services of his mercenary group. Speaking on a Wagner-associated Telegram channel, Prigozhin characterised the coup as “a battle by the people of Niger against their colonisers”, and said Wagner would do a better job of restoring order and destroying terrorists than French or US troops.

‘March for justice’: Wagner Group boss Yevgeny Prigozhin poses for a picture with a supporter in the Russian city of Rostov. Associated Press / Alamy Stock Photo

The removal of Bazoum, who was elected in 2021, spells the political end of an important western ally in the fight against a spreading threat from groups linked to Isis and al-Qaeda.

Niger President Mohamed Bazoum gestures at his party headquarters after the announcement of his election in Niamey, on Feb. 23, 2021. Issouf Sanogo/AFP via Getty Images

Large swaths of neighbouring Mali and Burkina Faso, both also controlled by military juntas, have been overrun by jihadist insurgents. Bazoum had doubled down on Niger’s policy of allowing western military to operate inside the country.

France has a large base in Niamey and the US maintains two drone bases, one near the desert city of Agadez, and 1,100 soldiers in the country. Germany has trained soldiers.




Bazoum, a former schoolteacher who comes from a minority Arab clan, has a weak political base and has struggled to assert his independence from his political mentor and predecessor, Mahamadou Issoufou.

The coup in Niger has been strongly condemned by regional and international governments.

Bazoum, who is still believed to be held inside his residence, has refused to sign a resignation letter, according to Nigerian diplomats and a person in regular contact.

The UN Security Council on Friday night called for Bazoum’s immediate and unconditional release. “The members of the Security Council expressed concern over the negative impact of unconstitutional changes of government in the region, increase in terrorist activities and the dire socio-economic situation,” the body said in a statement.

Additional reporting:

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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