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Niger Coup: US begins evacuation of citizens

August 3, 2023

In a statement by Matthew Miller, Department of State Spokesperson, “Given ongoing developments in Niger and out of an abundance of caution, the Department of State is ordering the temporary departure of non-emergency U.S. government personnel and eligible family members from the U.S. Embassy in Niamey.”

The US on Wednesday said it has ordered the temporary departure of non-emergency employees in Niger and their families.

In a statement by a Department of State spokesperson, Matthew Miller, the US said: “Given ongoing developments in Niger and out of an abundance of caution, the Department of State is ordering the temporary departure of non-emergency U.S. government personnel and eligible family members from the U.S. Embassy in Niamey.”

It also updated its travel advisory advising its citizens not to travel to Niger.

The Department noted that it has no higher priority than the safety and security of US citizens overseas, including US government personnel serving abroad.

Although the embassy in Niger remains open, it will only attend to limited, and emergency services for US citizens. Routine consular services are suspended.

Mr Miller said the US remains committed to its relationship with the people of Niger and to Nigerien democracy.

“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.

Reiterating their position on the coup, Mr Miller noted that the US rejects all efforts to overturn Niger’s constitutional order, and stands with the people of Niger, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union, and other international partners in support of democratic governance and respect for the rule of law and human rights.

It advised US citizens in Niger to limit unnecessary movements around Niamey, inviting those interested in departing Niger and those requiring assistance to register via the assistance request form available on Embassy Niamey’s website: https://cacms.state.gov/s/crisis-intake

“We will continue to provide information to U.S. citizens in the area through alerts, our embassy and consulate websites, and travel.state.gov.,” Mr Miller noted.

PREMIUM TIMES reported that France, another Western country with an active presence in Niger, commenced the evacuation of its nationals and other Europeans on Tuesday and has so far, according to the foreign ministry, evacuated 992 people from Niger, 560 of them being French nationals.

France operates a military base in Niger with about 1,500 soldiers while the US operates a drone base in the Agadez area of Niger.

(Premium Times)

 

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