• Thursday, December 07, 2023
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US ambassador lands in Niger, says US State Department

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Kathleen Fitzgibbons, the new American ambassador to Niger Republic, arrived in Niamey on Saturday.

Due to the “current political crisis,” Fitzgibbons will not formally deliver her credentials, according to the U.S. State Department.

On July 26, President Mohamed Bazoum was deposed by the military junta headed by General Abdourahamane Tchiani, who rebuffed appeals for his reinstatement from the African Union, the United Nations, ECOWAS, and other groups.

Read also: Burkina Faso, Mali send combat jets to defend Niger against ECOWAS force

According to Rueter, Fitzgibbons’ arrival in Niger “does not reflect a change in our policy position, but responds to the need for senior leadership of our mission at a challenging time,” US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement.

“Fitzgibbons’ diplomatic focus will be to advocate for a diplomatic solution that preserves the constitutional order in Niger and for the immediate release of President Bazoum and his family, and all those unlawfully detained.”

Fitzgibbons, a career diplomat who arrived in Niamey on Saturday, was nominated in May and received confirmation to the position from the U.S. Senate in July.

The Economic Community of West African States’ military leaders also decided on a secret “D-Day” for a potential military action to restore democracy in Niger should diplomatic attempts fail.

The heads of defence for West Africa made this announcement following a two-day conference in Accra, Ghana, where they discussed strategies for military involvement.