The United States government has officially suspended assistance to Niger by cutting off aid worth over $400m following the coup that abruptly ended the reign of President Mohamed Bazoum as the democratically elected leader of the country.
A sum of $200 million in US aid that was earlier paused by Washington in August has now been fully suspended, and State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said, “Any resumption of U.S. assistance will require action by the” military junta ” to return the country back to democratic governance in a quick and credible timeframe.
The statement added that the suspension of aid would not affect other life-saving humanitarian, food, and health assistance to benefit the people of Niger.
The United States, however, pledged to continue to work with regional governments, including in Niger, to advance shared interests in West Africa.
“We stand with the Nigerien people in their aspirations for democracy, prosperity, and stability,” he added.
Earlier on Monday, the US Secretary of States, Antony Blinken spoke on telephone with Bazoum where he stressed “that a democratically elected, civilian-led government presents the best opportunity to ensure that Niger remains a strong partner in security and development in the region,” according to the State Department.
The deposed president Bazoum was elected in 2021, marking Niger’s first democratic power change since its independence from French colonial authority in 1960.