The European Union has said it is suspending financial support and cooperation on security with Niger following this week’s military coup.
The commander of Niger’s presidential guard, General Abdourahamane Tchiani, declared himself the head of a transitional government after his soldiers took President Mohamed Bazoum into custody on Wednesday.
European Union foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, in a statement on Saturday said in addition to the immediate cessation of budget support, all cooperation actions in the domain of security are suspended indefinitely with immediate effect.
According to Borrell, the EU has allocated 503 million euros from its budget to improve governance, education and sustainable growth in Niger over the 2021-2024 period.
Borrell’s statement also said Bazoum remains the only legitimate president of Niger, and called for his immediate release and for holding the coup leaders to account for the safety of the president and his family.
Earlier, United States’ Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, offered his support to Niger’s overthrown leader, warning his captors that hundreds of millions of dollars of assistance could be at risk if democratic norms were not restored.
Blinken told Bazoum in a phone call that Washington would work to re-establish constitutional order after his toppling in the coup.