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The U.S. confirms coup in Niger, suspends aid

Wednesday, 11 October 2023 21:49
The U.S. confirms coup in Niger, suspends aid

(Ecofin Agency) - The United States will only continue to provide humanitarian assistance. Over $500 million in cooperation projects have been suspended. Washington supports the return to democracy and calls for the release of overthrown president Mohamed Bazoum.

The United States is suspending a large part of its assistance to Niger, after officially calling the change in power a coup. Yesterday October 10, the US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller (pictured) issued a statement saying “The United States has concluded that a military coup d'etat has taken place in Niger. Pursuant to section 7008 of the Department of State's annual appropriations act, the United States is suspending most U.S. assistance to the government of Niger”.

The suspension of U.S. financial assistance has far-reaching implications for Niger. The West African country, already subject to severe regional and international sanctions, is also faced with considerable budgetary outlays, a significant part of which is due to the security situation. The jihadist threat was the main reason for the coup.

On October 6, the new government revised its 2023 financial act, cutting spending by almost 40%. As a reminder, on August 5, the United States temporarily suspended certain foreign aid programs, totaling nearly $200 million. According to the State Department, the whole program has now been suspended. In addition to these measures, "the Millennium Challenge Corporation has suspended all assistance to Niger, including all preparatory work for its $302 million Regional Transportation Compact and all new activities related to its 2018 Compact". Humanitarian, food, and health aid, on the other hand, is not affected by this suspension, and will be maintained, Mr. Miller assured.

On October 9, the State Department spokesman reiterated the United States call for the release of deposed President Mohamed Bazoum, who is still being held captive, as well as his family and all those detained. The U.S. is however ready to work with regional governments, including Niger, to advance common interests in West Africa.

The situation in Niger remains worrying, and the country remains at a crossroads. The international community is following up on the situation in a context that continues to deteriorate. According to a TV5 Monde source, Algeria has withdrawn its offer of mediation, further complicating the situation.

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ECOFIN AGENCY offers a selection of articles translated from AGENCE ECOFIN. Founded in 2011, Agence Ecofin is a leader in Francophone Pan-African economic news, particularly in West and Central Africa. The agency publishes daily news on nine African economic sectors: Public Management, Finance, ICT, Agribusiness, Energy, Mining, Transport & Logistics, Communication, and Training.

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