US President Joe Biden has urged the military officers who overthrew Niger’s elected President Mohamed Bazoum on Wednesday to release him and his family immediately and respect the country’s democracy.
Biden said he was “deeply concerned” by the coup attempt, which occurred on the day Niger celebrated its 63rd anniversary of independence from France. He said the US condemned any unlawful seizure of power and supported the constitutional order in Niger.
“I call for President Bazoum and his family to be immediately released, and for the preservation of Niger’s hard-earned democracy,” Biden said in a statement on Thursday.
Biden said the US stood with the people of Niger and praised their commitment to peaceful and democratic elections earlier this year, which resulted in Bazoum’s victory. He said the US valued its partnership with Niger, which is based on shared democratic values and support for civilian-led governance.
Bazoum, a former interior minister, took office in April after winning the February runoff election with 55.7% of the vote. He succeeded Mahamadou Issoufou, who stepped down after two five-year terms, marking the first peaceful transfer of power between two elected presidents in Niger’s history.
Niger is a key ally of the US and France in the fight against Islamist militants in the Sahel region. It is also one of the poorest countries in the world, facing multiple challenges such as insecurity, climate change, population growth and the COVID-19 pandemic.
EXCLUSIVE: ALL Questions Asked: Peter Obi Live on Parallel Facts!
POPULAR THIS MONTH:
BIG STORY: INEC Disabling FCT Results