Niger: Partial evacuation of the American embassy, ​​the head of the junta denounces the sanctions

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crisis Washington ordered the departure of non-essential government employees at the Niamey embassy on Wednesday

Niger: Partial evacuation of US Embassy, ​​junta leader denounces sanctions

General Abdourahamane Tchiani, head of the military junta in Niger during a televised address on July 28, 2023. — AFP

The United States has ordered; on Wednesday the evacuation of their non-essential personnel from the embassy in Niamey, in Niger, after the putschist military coup against Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum, announced the State Department.

“Because of this development, the State Dept. the departure of non-essential government employees from the embassy” as well as their families, specifies an opinion diffused. Wednesday evening on its website.

At the same time, the State Department has raised its alert level for Niger which goes from 3 to; 4, not recommending to any US national to travel to the country due to the security situation there. He specifies that he has reduced activities to the United States Embassy in Niamey and cease all daily operations, stressing that they can only intervene in an emergency.

1,000 American troops in the Sahel

A number of American citizens have gone up to boarding French and Italian repatriation flights on Wednesday from Niamey, but the United States did not order no general evacuation of their nationals.

The United States condemned; with force the overthrow of President Bazoum, but, contrary to France and to other European countries, had not ordered evacuations so far nor suspended their aid to Niger, which amounts to several hundred million dollars.

Asked During a press briefing on Wednesday, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said that there were no indications of threats against Americans in Niger or American installations such as the Embassy. “Overall, the situation at Niamey remains calm, but it is moving,” he said. The United States also has some 1,000 soldiers deployed in the country as part of the fight against jihadist groups in the Sahel.

“”No objective reason” for French nationals to leave Niger, according to the junta

General Abdourahamane Tchiani, who took power at Niamey to; the head of putschist soldiers, estimated Wednesday that the French “[had] no objective reason to leave Niger” several hundred of them were evacuated via Paris.

French nationals “n’n’n’ never been the object of the slightest threat” and they have “no objective reason to leave Niger,” General Tchiani in a televised speech; to the eve of Independence Day in the country, a former French colony.

He denounced “the use of military force” during the demonstration on Sunday at Niamey in front of the French embassy where tear gas and “weapons” used to disperse the crowd. Paris had denied the use of “lethal means”.

Sanctions dismissed “en bloc”

Regarding the sanctions imposed by the leaders of the Community of the West African States (ECOWAS) and their threat to use force, he said he rejected them “en bloc” and refuse “any threat”. “The CNSP (National Council for the Safeguarding of the Fatherland, in power) rejects these sanctions en bloc and refuses to give in to the government. any threat, hence let them come,” he said. “We refuse any interference in the internal affairs of Niger,” he added.

According to him, “these sanctions are cynical and iniquitous,” “Humiliate the FDS (Defence and Security Forces), Niger and its people” and at make “the situation untenable and the country ungovernable”. “Nowhere in this contemptuous and belligerent attitude did the [West African] leaders take sovereignty into account. of our country,” he said.

ECO has ordered an economic blockade of Niger, deciding the “immediate” of “all commercial and financial transactions” with Niger and threatened to use “force” if President Mohamed Bazoum overthrown July 26 was not recovered within seven days.

General Tchiani reiterated that it’s mainly due to the security gradation in Niger in the grip of the jihadist violence that the military had seized power, claiming: “it’s the lives of Nigeriens and Niger that we are talking about.”