Blinken warns Niger coup puts ‘millions of dollars’ of aid at risk

Sydney, Australia, Jul 29 (EFE).- United States’ Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Saturday expressed support for the deposed President of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum, and warned that the developments from the coup could put an end to “millions of dollars” in development aid to the African country.

State Department spokesperson Matt Miller said in a statement that during phone calls with Bazoum and former Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou, Blinken stressed that “the United States will continue to work to ensure the full restoration of constitutional order and democratic rule” after Wednesday’s coup.

The Secretary of State, on an official visit to Australia, stressed “the importance” of Bazoum’s leadership, and praised his role in “promoting security not only in Niger but the wider West Africa region,” according to Miller.

“The Secretary regretted that those detaining Bazoum were threatening years of successful cooperation and hundreds of millions of dollars of assistance that support the Nigerien people,” the spokesperson said.

General Abdourahmane Tchiani, head of Niger’s presidential guard, on Friday, declared himself the leader of the transitional government after his military unit overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum.

The 62-year-old made the announcement on Niger’s state television channel saying he was now the president of the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland.

The international community, including the European Union, African Union, and the Economic Community of West African States, has broadly condemned Tchiani’s takeover.

The chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said the coup was a “total betrayal” of duty in a post on Twitter, while the EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell said he was “very concerned about current events in Niamey.”

“The EU condemns any attempts to destabilize the democracy and threaten the stability of Niger,” Borrell added.EFE


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