The United States has ordered the evacuation of its non-emergency staff and eligible family members from the U.S. Embassy in Niger in the wake of last week’s coup in that North-west African country.
On July 26, President Mohamed Bazoum was placed under house arrest amidst efforts by the military to overthrow the government.
A military junta has taken control of power in Niger, which is one of the poorest countries in the world.
Hundreds of foreigners have already been evacuated from Niger. Protesters attacked the French embassy at the weekend.
The State Department said it took this precautionary measure as the latest events have severely limited flight options.
The U.S. Embassy in capital Niamey has temporarily reduced its personnel, and suspended routine services.
The Embassy said it has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in the country due to the temporary reduction in embassy staff.
The State Department said that the United States “remain diplomatically engaged at the highest levels”. The U.S. Senate recently confirmed a new Ambassador, Kathleen FitzGibbon, to Niger. “Ambassador FitzGibbon is well positioned to manage our bilateral relationship through this difficult period and we look forward to her swift arrival in Niamey,” a Department Spokesperson said in a statement.
On Wednesday, the State Department raised its Travel Advisory for Niger to Level 4, urging U.S. citizens not to travel to Niger.
It warned that with the ongoing efforts to overturn constitutional order, there may be increased demonstrations that can lead to civil unrest and government instability. This is in addition to chances of crime, terrorism, and kidnapping.
The U.S. Embassy advised U.S. citizens in Niger to limit unnecessary movements around Niamey. U.S. citizens interested in departing Niger and those requiring assistance have been advised to register via the assistance request form available on Embassy Niamey’s website: https://cacms.state.gov/s/crisis-intake
Terrorist groups continue plotting kidnappings and possible attacks in Niger. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting foreign and local government facilities and areas frequented by Westerners. The State Department advised U.S. citizens to avoid travel to Niger’s border regions, particularly the Malian border area, Diffa region, and the Lake Chad region.
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