An exiled Niger Prime Minister appeals for global help in restoring democracy.

An exiled Niger Prime Minister appeals for global help in restoring democracy.

Last updated on August 4th, 2023 at 04:48 pm

On Tuesday, France, Italy, and Spain made announcements that their citizens, along with those of other European countries, would be evacuated from Niger.

Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou, the Prime Minister of Niger, who has been exiled from the country since the coup that took place the previous week, made a plea to the world community for assistance in reestablishing democracy in his nation. In an interview that took place in Paris with The Associated Press, Mahamadou stated that Niger should be regarded as extremely important for the consolidation of democracy in West Africa and the protection of nations to the south “against the spread of terrorism.”

On Sunday, the regional organization for West Africa, known as ECOWAS, imposed travel and economic restrictions against Niger. It also threatened to use force if the organizers of the coup in Niger did not reinstate Mohamed Bazoum as the country’s lawfully elected president within one week. Mahamadou referred to the penalties as a “catastrophe” for Niger in his statement.

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On Tuesday, France, Italy, and Spain made announcements that their citizens, along with those of other European countries, would be evacuated from Niger. The government of Mahamadou was one of the West’s last remaining democratic partners in the fight against West African radicals. According to him, “Niger is a key country in terms of security not only for the rest of Africa but also for the rest of the world,” and this is something that needs to be emphasized.

In recent years, Niger has received assistance in the form of troops as well as hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of military and humanitarian aid from both the United States and France. Mahamadou expressed concern that the current unrest in the country “could encourage the further development of insecurity linked to jihadists” in the long run.

“Because if the armed forces are preoccupied with issues other than ensuring the country’s security, you can understand that this will enable the jihadists to move forward on the ground.” Despite this, the Prime Minister has stated that he intends to maintain his “optimism” over the prospect of Niger regaining its democratic institutions and avoiding a military intervention by ECOWAS.

The president “is certainly a hostage,” he claimed, but added that he is in “good spirits” and “ready to face the situation.” He said he is still in contact with Bazoum. Because they are “patriots,” in Mahamadou’s opinion, the leaders of the coup will comply with the request of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to reinstate Bazoum rather than face the possibility of a military intervention.