US voices concern after attempted coup in Niger
Washington 'closely monitoring the situation to ensure the safety of our citizens'
By Servet Gunerigok
WASHINGTON (AA) - The US expressed deep concern Wednesday after Niger’s presidency confirmed a coup attempt was carried out by soldiers who sealed access to the official residence of President Mohamed Bazoum.
"The United States is deeply concerned about today’s developments in Niger. We strongly condemn any effort to detain or subvert the functioning of Niger’s democratically elected government, led by President Bazoum," National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement.
"We specifically urge elements of the presidential guard to release President Bazoum from detention and refrain from violence," he said, adding that Washington is "closely monitoring the situation to ensure the safety of our citizens."
Sullivan said Niger is a critical partner for the US.
"We have shared values on democracy and human rights, and collaborate to advance regional security and prosperity, and our substantial cooperation with the Government of Niger is predicated on Niger’s continued commitment to democratic standards," he said.
Washington welcomed strong statements and steps taken by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union to defend Niger’s democracy.
The ECOWAS, of which Niger is a member, also condemned "the attempt to seize power by force" and demanded the "immediate and unconditional release" of Bazoum.
Niger's presidency said: "It is the act of certain elements of the presidential guard who did not obtain the support of the National Armed Forces and the National Guard."
"Early Wednesday morning, elements of the Presidential Guard (GP) engaged in an anti-republican mood movement and tried in vain to obtain the support of the National Armed Forces and the National Guard," it added.
Bazoum and his family are reported to be in good health, according to the presidency.
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