In a written statement honoring Niger’s Independence Day, President Joe Biden urged for the prompt release of Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum, stating the US “stands with the people of Niger” as the country faces a “grave challenge to its democracy.” This is the first time Biden has addressed the situation in Niger since the military takeover last week.
“Nigerians have the right to choose their leaders.” “They have expressed their will through free and fair elections, and that must be respected,” stated Biden. “Defending fundamental democratic values and advocating for constitutional order, justice, and the right to peaceful assembly are critical to Niger-US cooperation.”
“I demand the immediate release of Nigerien President Bazoum and his family, as well as the preservation of Niger’s hard-won democracy,” he continued.
Biden’s remarks come as the US is stepping up diplomatic attempts to restore democratically elected Bazoum to office. Bazoum, who was jailed last week, spoke by phone with Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday, according to State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller.
“The United States is committed to finding a solution.” Biden also said,” On behalf of the American people, I extend my best wishes to the government and people of Nigeria as they inaugurate a new Nigerien President. My administration has worked to deepen ties between the United States and Nigeria, and I look forward to working with President Tinubu to encourage economic growth, increase security, and promote human rights respect. People-to-people ties between our two countries are especially strong, thanks to a thriving Nigerian Diaspora in the United States.
I look forward to relying even more on the ideas and energy of this dynamic relationship between our countries as we extend our partnership with Nigeria. Nigeria’s prosperity is the world’s success because it is Africa’s greatest democracy and economy. Elected officials owe it. In response to the demand, US Spokesperson Matthew Miller stated that the US “remains committed to the restoration of the democratically-elected government” in Niger.
“We reiterate that the safety and security of Nigerien President Bazoum and his family are paramount,” Miller added. “The United States is committed to finding a peaceful solution that ensures Niger remains a strong partner in regional security and development.”