UK cuts number of embassy staff in Niger amid threat of pro-junta demonstrations

UK cuts number of embassy staff in Niger amid threat of pro-junta demonstrations

'Protests can be violent and the situation could change quickly without warning,' says Foreign Office

By Aysu Bicer

LONDON (AA) - The UK on Thursday said it is reducing the number of staff at its embassy in coup-hit Niger.

"There has been a military takeover in Niger, which has led to protests and unrest," said the UK Foreign Office in a statement.

"Protests can be violent and the situation could change quickly without warning," it added.

The move follows a similar decision by the US, which has initiated a partial evacuation of its embassy in the capital of Niamey.

Niger's President Mohamed Bazoum was detained by members of the Presidential Guard on July 26, and that evening, the military announced that it had seized power.

Gen. Abdourahmane Tchiani, the leader of the mutinous soldiers, assumed the leadership of the group called the National Council for the Safeguarding of the Country on July 28.

In a televised address Wednesday night, Tchiani said he will not bow down to pressure to reinstate Bazoum, and criticized sanctions imposed by West African leaders.

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