Biden calls for immediate release of Niger’s deposed president

Biden calls for immediate release of Niger’s deposed president

US urges ‘preservation’ of Niger’s ‘hard-earned democracy’ as West African nation marks Independence Day

By James Tasamba

KIGALI, Rwanda (AA) - US President Joe Biden on Thursday called for immediate release of Niger’s deposed leader Mohamed Bazoum.

In a statement, the White House said that defending fundamental democratic values, and standing up for constitutional order, justice, and the right of peaceful assembly, are essential to the partnership between Niger and the US.

“I call for President Bazoum and his family to be immediately released, and for the preservation of Niger’s hard-earned democracy,” said the statement released on the occasion of the West African country’s 63rd anniversary of independence from France.

“The United States stands with the people of Niger to honor our decades-long partnership rooted in shared democratic values and support for civilian-led governance,” it added.

On Wednesday, the US ordered the evacuation of all non-emergency government personnel from its embassy in Niger amid fears of growing conflict.

European countries, including France have evacuated their nationals.

On July 26, Bazoum was detained by members of the Presidential Guard, and that evening, the military announced that it had seized power.

On Friday, Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani, the commander of Niger's presidential guard, declared himself the head of a transitional government, two days after deposing Bazoum.

Leaders of the Economic Community of West African States bloc (ECOWAS) on Sunday imposed heavy sanctions on Niger, and called on the military coup leaders to reinstate Bazoum within one week.

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