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Niger: US announces partial evacuation of embassy

Niger, (Qnnflash) – The United States has ordered a partial evacuation of its embassy in the country. Hundreds of foreign nationals have already been evacuated, and the French embassy in Niger was attacked by protesters on Sunday.

The coup leader, Gen Abdourahamane Tchiani, has warned against any interference in the country’s internal affairs. Niger is a significant uranium producer and lies on a key migration route to North Africa and the Mediterranean.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to ousted President Mohamed Bazoum, reaffirming the US’s commitment to the restoration of Niger’s democratically elected government. Despite the partial evacuation, the US embassy in the capital, Niamey, will remain open, and the US will continue its diplomatic engagement with Niger.

The US is a major donor of humanitarian and security aid to Niger, and it has previously warned that the coup could lead to the suspension of all cooperation. France, the former colonial power in Niger, and the EU have already suspended financial and development aid. Additionally, the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) has imposed sanctions on Niger, including a halt on all commercial transactions and a freeze on the country’s assets in the regional central bank.

Niger’s electricity company reported that neighboring Nigeria has cut electricity supplies, leading to widespread power cuts. However, this has not been confirmed by Nigeria. In response to the sanctions, Gen Tchiani said the new regime rejects them and considers them intended to humiliate Niger’s security forces and make the country ungovernable.

Military chiefs from Ecowas have met to discuss a possible military intervention, though they view it as a last resort. The coup has sparked demonstrations against France and in favor of Russia, whose influence in the region has grown in recent years.

Niger has been a key Western ally in the fight against jihadist extremism in the Sahel, where both France and the US maintain military bases. After military leaders in neighboring Mali partnered with the Russian Wagner mercenary group in 2021, France moved its regional counter-terror operations center to Niger.

For More Information :

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-66390918

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