In response to the ongoing developments in Niger, the United States has taken precautionary measures to ensure the safety and security of its citizens. On Wednesday, the US Department of State spokesperson, Matthew Miller, announced that they have ordered the temporary departure of non-emergency US government personnel and eligible family members from the US Embassy in Niamey.
While the embassy in Niger will remain operational, it will only offer limited and emergency services to US citizens, suspending routine consular services. To further safeguard its citizens, the US has also updated its travel advisory, strongly advising against travel to Niger at this time.
Mr. Miller reiterated the US’s commitment to its relationship with the people of Niger and their democracy. He emphasized that the US remains actively engaged in diplomatic efforts, having recently confirmed Kathleen FitzGibbon as the new Ambassador to Niger. Ambassador FitzGibbon’s extensive experience in West Africa makes her well-suited to manage the bilateral relationship during this challenging period.
“We remain diplomatically engaged at the highest levels. The US Senate recently confirmed a new Ambassador, Kathleen FitzGibbon, a career diplomat with extensive experience in West Africa. Ambassador FitzGibbon is well-positioned to manage our bilateral relationship through this difficult period, and we look forward to her swift arrival in Niamey,” he added.
The US firmly stands against any attempt to overturn Niger’s constitutional order, and it pledges its support to the people of Niger, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union, and other international partners in promoting democratic governance, the rule of law, and human rights.
For US citizens currently in Niger, the US government advises limiting unnecessary movements around Niamey. Those interested in departing Niger or requiring assistance are encouraged to register through the assistance request form available on Embassy Niamey’s website.
Meanwhile, France, another Western nation with a significant presence in Niger, has begun evacuating its nationals and other Europeans from the country. According to the foreign ministry, France has already evacuated 992 individuals from Niger, with 560 of them being French nationals.
Nigeria-led ECOWAS is leading efforts to restore constitutional order in Niger. To facilitate this process, former Nigerian military ruler Abdulsalami Abubakar and the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, have been dispatched to negotiate with the coup plotters. ECOWAS has also imposed sanctions on Niger following the coup and set a one-week ultimatum for the coup plotters to reinstate President Mohammed Bazoum to power.