In response to "ongoing developments" and with an "abundance of caution," the US State Department has announced a partial withdrawal of diplomatic personnel stationed in Niger. Non-emergency personnel and their families have been ordered to leave the US Embassy in Niamey due to the deteriorating security situation in the country.
The decision comes in the wake of a coup that occurred on July 26, in which President Mohamed Bazoum of Niger was detained by his own presidential guardsmen. Following the coup, a new junta, led by Abdourahamane Tchiani, assumed control.
In response to the unfolding crisis, other Western nations such as France and Italy have also announced plans to evacuate their citizens from Niger.
Despite refraining from officially labeling it as a coup, US officials have continued to recognize President Mohamed Bazoum as Niger's legitimate leader. They have further called for the restoration of his administration, expressing concern over the impact of the recent coup on Niger's political stability.
The situation remains fluid and complex, with the West African regional bloc, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), taking a strong stance against the coup. ECOWAS has demanded that President Bazoum be reinstated within seven days and has threatened to use force if the demand is not met.
In response to ECOWAS' ultimatum, Niger's neighbors, Mali, and Burkina Faso, have warned against any military intervention, considering it a declaration of war on their respective countries. Both nations have pledged self defense measures in support of Niger's armed forces and its people in such a scenario.