The U.S. Considers Officially Declaring Niger’s Government Overthrow a Coup

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By News Feed Room

In a potentially significant development, the U.S. is on the verge of officially declaring the military overthrow of Niger’s government a coup. This designation could have serious implications, potentially leading to the cutting off of military aid to Niger and potentially undermining the U.S. counterterrorism efforts against ISIS in Africa. The Biden administration is currently in the process of working out the details of how this designation would impact the U.S.’s relationship with Niger and the presence of U.S. diplomats and troops in the country. While the official announcement is expected in the coming week, there is still uncertainty regarding the specific changes that will occur as a result.

The U.S. Considers Officially Declaring Nigers Government Overthrow a Coup

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Table of Contents

Background Information

Overview of Niger’s government overthrow

The article begins by providing an overview of the government overthrow in Niger. It explains that more than two months ago, elements of the military seized power in Niger, leading to the takeover of the country’s elected government. The specific details of how the government was overthrown are not mentioned in this section.

Impact on U.S. counterterror effort in Africa

The article highlights the potential impact of Niger’s government overthrow on the U.S. counterterror effort in Africa. It mentions that declaring the overthrow a coup could weaken this effort. The exact reasons why the counterterror effort could be affected are not elaborated on in this section.

Suspension of security cooperation and foreign assistance programs

The article goes on to discuss the consequences of the government overthrow, specifically the suspension of security cooperation and foreign assistance programs between the U.S. and Niger. It mentions that the Pentagon has already suspended security cooperation between the U.S. military and Nigerien military, and has halted foreign military sales and paused some foreign assistance programs as well.

Impending Official Declaration

Biden administration close to official designation

In this section, the article states that the Biden administration is close to officially designating the government overthrow in Niger a coup. It implies that the official designation is imminent.

Details being worked out

The article mentions that while the administration is close to making the official designation, it is still working through the details of how this would change the U.S. relationship with Niger and affect the presence of U.S. diplomats and troops in the country.

Possible timing of announcement

The article suggests that the announcement of the official designation could come in the next week, though no specific date is given.

Consequences and Ramifications

Restrictions on U.S. assistance under Section 7008

This section explains that an official assessment that the government was overthrown in a military coup would trigger Section 7008 of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Appropriations Act. It states that this U.S. law restricts the assistance that the U.S. can provide to a country, and could result in the suspension of significant amounts of assistance to Niger.

Effect on U.S. relationship with Niger

The article highlights that the official designation of coup could have an effect on the U.S. relationship with Niger, though it does not go into specific details about how this relationship could be impacted.

Presence of U.S. diplomats and troops in Niger

In this section, the article briefly mentions the presence of U.S. diplomats and troops in Niger. It implies that the presence could be affected by the official designation of the government overthrow as a coup.

Current Situation and Challenges

President Bazoum and family held hostage

The article reveals that President Bazoum and members of his family are still being held hostage in Niger. It emphasizes the ongoing nature of this hostage situation.

Increased attacks by ISIS in Sahel region

This section discusses the increased attacks by ISIS in the Sahel region following the government overthrow in Niger. It explains that these attacks have already been observed along the borders with Burkina Faso and Mali. The article highlights that Niger’s distraction with the internal situation has affected its ability to counter these attacks.

Distraction of Nigerien military from counterterrorism operations

The article states that the Nigerien military has been somewhat distracted from its counterterrorism operations against ISIS since the government overthrow. It implies that this distraction has resulted in a deterioration of Niger’s counterterrorism efforts.

The U.S. Considers Officially Declaring Nigers Government Overthrow a Coup

Threat and Exploitation by ISIS

ISIS attacks along borders with Burkina Faso and Mali

This section elaborates on the ISIS attacks that have been observed along the borders of Niger with Burkina Faso and Mali. It explains that these attacks are part of ISIS’s strategy to exploit coups and instability in neighboring countries, and gain influence or power over local populations.

Deterioration of Niger’s counterterrorism efforts

The article highlights that the distraction of the Nigerien military from counterterrorism operations against ISIS has resulted in a deterioration of Niger’s overall counterterrorism efforts. The specific details of this deterioration are not provided in this section.

ISIS’s attempt to gain influence in Niger

This section mentions that ISIS is attempting to gain influence in Niger. However, it does not provide specific details about how ISIS is attempting to achieve this goal.

U.S. Military Response

Drone surveillance and coordination with Nigerien military

The article states that the U.S. military is currently conducting drone surveillance in Niger, primarily focused on areas where the U.S. has troops or civilians. It mentions that the U.S. still coordinates military movements with the Nigerien military for the safety and security of U.S. troops.

Feasibility of unilateral counterterror missions

In this section, the article suggests that the U.S. is considering the feasibility of conducting unilateral counterterror missions into Niger in the future to target ISIS and other terror networks. It does not provide specific details about these potential missions.

Possible relocation of U.S. troops and assets

The article mentions that after the official designation of the government overthrow as a coup, there could be a possible relocation of U.S. troops and assets, such as armed drones, to continue counterterror operations in the region. The specific location of the potential relocation is not specified.

The U.S. Considers Officially Declaring Nigers Government Overthrow a Coup

Future Outlook

Potential impact on regional stability

This section discusses the potential impact of the government overthrow and its consequences on regional stability. It does not provide specific details about the potential impact.

Continuation of U.S. counterterror efforts

The article suggests that despite the government overthrow, the U.S. intends to continue its counterterror efforts in Niger. However, it does not provide specific details about how these efforts will continue.

Considerations for U.S. mission and footprint in Niger

The article briefly mentions that the Biden administration is still considering how the U.S. mission and footprint in Niger will change after the official designation of the government overthrow as a coup. It does not provide specific details about these considerations.

Statements from U.S. Government

State Department spokesperson’s response

This section mentions that a State Department spokesperson did not confirm any impending change regarding the official designation of the government overthrow as a coup. It includes a quote from the spokesperson advocating for a diplomatic solution.

National Security Council spokesperson’s comments

The article includes a quote from a spokesperson for the National Security Council, who states that the administration is continuing its diplomatic engagements to preserve civilian rule in Niger. The spokesperson mentions that the administration is assessing its next steps and considering making a formal 7008 determination, but does not provide specific details.

The U.S. Considers Officially Declaring Nigers Government Overthrow a Coup

Ongoing Hostage Situation

Status of President Bazoum and his family

The article reiterates that President Bazoum and members of his family are still being held hostage in Niger. It highlights the ongoing nature of this situation.

Challenges for their release

This section mentions the challenges involved in securing the release of President Bazoum and his family. However, it does not provide specific details about these challenges.

Influence on U.S. decision-making process

The article implies that the ongoing hostage situation of President Bazoum and his family is influencing the U.S. decision-making process regarding the official designation of the government overthrow as a coup. However, it does not elaborate on how exactly it is influencing the decision-making process.

Conclusion and Next Steps

Finalizing the official declaration

The article concludes by stating that the Biden administration is finalizing the official declaration of the government overthrow as a coup. It suggests that the designation is imminent.

Assessing the impact on U.S. interests

This section mentions that the administration is assessing the impact of the official designation on U.S. interests. It does not provide specific details about what these interests are.

Diplomatic and military considerations

The article mentions that the administration is considering the diplomatic and military aspects related to the official designation of the government overthrow as a coup. It does not provide specific details about these considerations.

The U.S. Considers Officially Declaring Niger’s Government Overthrow a Coup