World reaction continues on the Military coup in Niger

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The United States assured the ousted President of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum, of its steadfast support for him, before a meeting was held in Paris on Saturday on the situation in Niger, where France is deploying forces to combat jihadists, the last of its kind in the Sahel region.

During a phone call Friday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken assured Bazoum of the US’s unwavering support, his spokesman Matthew Sullivan said.

Blinken stressed that the military coup jeopardizes hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Niamey, pointing out that Washington will continue to work to ensure the full restoration of constitutional order and democratic rule in Niger.

On Sunday, a special summit of the Economic Community of West African States will be held in Abuja to assess the situation in Niger, a member state of the group, and possible sanctions will be imposed as a result.

But before that, French President Emmanuel Macron will open at 15:00 local time (13:00 GMT) Saturday a meeting on defense and national security in Niger, where France is still deploying 1,500 soldiers who have been cooperating so far with the army of this country.

Niger president overthrow may reconsider the status of the French deployment.

Niger is one of Paris’ last allies in the Sahel region ravaged by jihadist violence, while its neighbors Mali and Burkina Faso, led by putschists, have turned to other partners, including Russia.

After Niger constituted a base for the crossing of forces into Mali, from where the French Barkhan force withdrew at the request of the ruling military council in Bamako in 2022, it became the only African country that still had a combat partnership with France against the jihadists.

On Friday, Macron denounced the military coup in Niger with the greatest firmness, while the French Foreign Ministry pointed out that Paris doesn’t recognize the powers emanating from the coup led by General Abderrahmane Tiane.

Before he was declared head of state by his peers, General Tiane, Commander of the Presidential Guard, appeared on state television and read a statement on Friday in his capacity as “Chairman of the National Council for the Protection of the Homeland,” that is, the military council that overthrew Bazoum, and justified the coup by the deterioration of the security situation in a country facing Violent acts behind jihadist groups.

He pointed out that the current security approach didn’t allow securing the country despite the enormous sacrifices made by the people of Niger and the tangible and appreciated support of our external partners, led by France and the United States.

“In the name of the National Council for the Protection of the Nation, I ask Niger’s partners and friends, at this crucial stage in the history of our country, to trust our defense and security forces, the guarantors of unity and patriotism,” he added.

He considered that the security approach excluded any real cooperation with the countries of Burkina Faso and Mali, which are also run by putschists and witness acts of jihadist violence.

The African Union called on the Niger army to return to its barracks and restore constitutional authority within 15 days, after the military carried out a coup against the authorities of the African country led by General Abderrahmane Tiane.

The Peace and Security Council of the African Union announced in a statement that it demands the military to return immediately and unconditionally to their barracks and to restore constitutional authority, within a maximum period of 15 days.

For his part, the European Union’s foreign policy official, Josep Borrell, confirmed on Saturday that the bloc “doesn’t and won’t recognize the coup powers in Niger”.

In addition to suspending all financial aid, Borrell said the EU would suspend all cooperation in the security field immediately and indefinitely.

The Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Hussein Ibrahim Taha, also called for the “immediate release” of the Nigerien president and the “restoration of constitutional order” in the country, according to a statement.

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