© 2024
NPR for Northern Colorado
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

The US is threatening to cut aid to Niger after the military takeover

French soldiers stand near an army ambulance as citizens of European countries are seen queuing outside the Diori Hamani International Airport in Niamey.
French soldiers stand near an army ambulance as citizens of European countries are seen queuing outside the Diori Hamani International Airport in Niamey.

A lot has happened since the coup in Niger last week. 

A coalition of West African nations sanctioned the country of 25 million people and froze Nigerien assets. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) also threatened to take military action if coup leaders don’t step down.

But three of those member states also under military rule (Burkina Faso, Mali, and Guinea) say they support the new leader, General Abdourahmane Tchiani. The general and his supporters detained President Mohamed Bazoum last week. Bazoum was democratically elected two years ago and is seen as a key partner for the U.S. in fighting extremists.

On Tuesday, the Pentagon said it’s suspending security cooperation with Niger.  Over the weekend, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said economic and military aid to Niger “depends on the continuation of the democratic governance and constitutional order that has been disrupted by the actions in the last few days.”

At the same time, the Biden administration hasn’t called the military takeover a coup. That designation could force the U.S. to suspend aid before it’s ready and eliminate leverage in efforts to return President Bazoum to office.

Copyright 2023 WAMU 88.5

Tags
Maya Garg, Rupert Allman