Conflicts & War

US orders partial evacuation of Niger embassy

Washington, Aug 2 (EFE).- The United States on Wednesday ordered the evacuation of non-emergency personnel from its Niger embassy in Niamey after military officers seized power last week.

The embassy has suspended routine services and is now only processing emergency assistance to US citizens in the country.

However, a notice on the embassy website warned that it has “limited ability” to provide emergency services due to the “temporary reduction” in staff.

Washington also raised its travel advisory for the west African country to Level 4: Do Not Travel.

“With the ongoing efforts to overturn constitutional order, there may be increased demonstrations that can lead to civil unrest and government instability,” the State Department wrote in the note, which added that violent crime is common.

Later, department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement that the decision to evacuate US citizens was taken out of an “abundance of caution,” and that the US remains diplomatically engaged at the highest level with the Niger authorities.

He also recalled the recent confirmation of the new US ambassador to the country, Kathleen FitzGibbon, and wished her a swift arrival in Niamey.

Despite the situation, Miller did not refer to the situation in Niger as a “coup,” as “we do not have finality yet of this situation” and Washington believes the situation can be reversed with the return to power of deposed president Mohamed Bazoum.

“We’ve seen a military junta attempt to seize control of the country and attempt to remove the democratically elected leader from power. We have been trying our utmost to reverse that situation,” he said in his daily press briefing.

A week after the military junta seized power in Niger, during which Bazoum was detained, its leaders were holding negotiations simultaneously both in their territory and in the Malian capital.

A delegation from the Economic Community of West African States traveled from Nigeria to Niamey on Wednesday to negotiate with the coup leaders, while a junta general traveled to Bamako to meet with the military in power in Mali. EFE


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