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US Charters Plane To Evacuate Americans From Coup-Hit Niger Republic


(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The United States has chartered a plane to evacuate its non-essential personnel from coup-hit Niger, a State Department official said Thursday.

The flight, which is also open to American citizens wishing to leave the West African country, is scheduled to depart Friday afternoon from Niamey “if all things go right,” the official told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity.
He added that consular services in Niger had begun contacting “several hundred” registered US citizens to ascertain whether they planned to stay or leave the fragile nation, a week after President Mohamed Bazoum was deposed by his own guard and a military junta installed.
But there are many Americans who do not wish to leave, he added.
A handful of US citizens have already boarded flights chartered by France and Italy in recent days, according to the same source.
On Wednesday, the United States ordered the evacuation of its non-essential staff at the embassy in Niamey.
“The situation remains calm in Niamey at this point in time,” said another senior official, noting that the situation is very different from that in Sudan, where the US evacuated its nationals after fighting broke out between the Sudanese army and a rival faction.
The United States has called for Bazoum’s release and supports negotiation efforts led by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which has threatened use of force if the junta does not restore Bazoum by Sunday.
“We don’t think the junta has consolidated its power,” added the official, stressing that ECOWAS sanctions were “biting pretty hard.”
AFP


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