The United States says it will hold the Niger military junta accountable for the safety and security of ousted President Mohamed Bazoum, his family, and detained members of his government.
This is contained in a statement the U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, issued on Thursday, shortly after the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) ordered a standby of force for intervention in Niger if the military junta did not restore constitutionally elected President Bazoum to power.
In the statement titled: “ECOWAS Call for Restoration of Constitutional Order in the Republic of Niger,” the United States commended the regional bloc for its determination to explore all options for the peaceful resolution of the crisis.
“The United States joins the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in calling for the restoration of constitutional order in Niger. The United States appreciates the determination of ECOWAS to explore all options for the peaceful resolution of the crisis.”
Blinken explained that democracy is the best foundation for development, social cohesion, and stability in Niger. “We stand with the Nigerien people in working toward these goals.
“We echo the ECOWAS condemnation of the illegal detention of President Mohamed Bazoum, his family, and members of the government, as well as the unacceptable conditions under which they are being held, and call for their immediate release.
“Like ECOWAS, the United States will hold the Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP) accountable for the safety and security of President Bazoum, his family, and detained members of the government,” the statement partly read.
SaharaReporters reported on Thursday that the West African regional bloc has warned Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea against backing the Niger junta following the July 26 coup that ousted President Bazoum’s government in a communique issued after the second summit held in Abuja.
The regional bloc also sought the support of the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU) for the resolutions reached during the summit.
The Thursday summit was aimed at deliberating on developments in the Niger Republic following the coup that ousted the democratically elected President Bazoum.
The ultimatum given to the coup leaders by ECOWAS expired on Sunday without any favourable response from the military junta.
The military governments of Burkina Faso and Mali have warned that any military intervention against the coup leaders in Niger would be considered a “declaration of war” against their nations.
Guinea’s President Mamady Doumbouya also expressed disagreement with the sanctions recommended by ECOWAS, including military intervention.
Bola Tinubu, who is the chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), had stressed the need to prioritise diplomatic negotiations and dialogue in resolving the political crisis in the Republic of Niger.
He noted that the political crisis in Niger poses a threat to the stability of the region.