Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Friday that the United States will suspend certain aid programs to the Niger government. While specific details about the paused programs were not disclosed, Blinken emphasized that life-saving humanitarian and food assistance will continue.
The move comes as West Africa’s regional bloc, following discussions among military chiefs, devises a potential intervention plan for Niger, including the possibility of using force. President Mohamed Bazoum, in a column published in The Washington Post, urged the international community, particularly the US, to help restore Niger’s political order and prevent devastating consequences for the country and the entire region.
Niger has been a crucial partner in Western efforts to combat the jihadist insurgency in the Sahel since 2012, with the United States having approximately 1,000 troops stationed in the country. Blinken reiterated that US assistance to the government of Niger is contingent on democratic governance and respect for constitutional order, affirming their commitment to supporting the people of Niger and urging the swift restoration of the democratically-elected government.