AFPCouper Abdourahamane Tiani, who proclaimed himself Niger’s new leader yesterday
NOS Nieuws•today, 16:32•Edited today, 16:40
The European Union (EU) is immediately suspending all financial aid to Niger, as well as security cooperation. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.
Soldiers seized power in the West African country last week. They have been holding democratically elected president Mohamed Bazoum in the presidential palace ever since.
Coupleider and General Abdourahamane Tiani named himself the new leader of Niger yesterday, but the EU does not recognize him. According to Tiani, the coup was necessary because of the “deteriorated security situation” in the country.
The EU had allocated an amount of €500 million for the period 2021-2024 to improve governance and education in Niger, among other things. The country is also an important cooperation partner of the EU in combating illegal migration from Sub-Saharan Africa. The country is on a known smuggling route.
The EU is a civilian mission in Niger, with the aim of training Nigerien security personnel. In addition, there is a small military partnership mission in the fight against terrorism. Various jihadist groups are active in the Sahel with ties to IS and al-Qaeda.
Fear of terrorism
Due to the political instability in Niger, US support for the country is also at stake, said Foreign Minister Blinken. The United States supports Niger economically, but also in the field of security. Whether that remains the case depends, according to Blinken, on the release of President Bazoum and “the immediate restoration of democratic order in Niger”.
The African Union earlier today condemned the coup “in the strongest possible terms”. The union has given the coup plotters fifteen days to restore the old situation.
The UN Security Council also condemns the military coup and demands Bazoum’s release. The council is concerned about the consequences for the region and a possible increase in terrorist activities.