US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a telephone call with former Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou on Saturday, stressing the US commitment to work towards a peaceful solution in Niger.
The US State Department said in a statement Saturday that Blinken discussed with Issoufou the developments of the situation in Niger, announcing the readiness of the US to adopt diplomatic approaches to resolve the crisis in the African country.
Blinken also expressed Washington’s grave concern about the continued detention of current president Mohamed Bazoum and his family, saying that the US holds the Military Council in Niger responsible for the safety of President Bazoum, his family and detained members of his government.
John Kirby, strategic communications coordinator at the US National Security Council at the White House, confirmed that the US is focusing diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict in Niger.
“We believe that there is room to prioritize diplomatic efforts, Washington wants a peaceful solution to this issue without violence,” Kirby said.
On Saturday, West African leaders discussed the next steps in their efforts to put down a military coup in Niger that has shaken the region, but is receiving a wave of support within the country.
It is not yet clear how long the ECOWAS force will take to assemble, its strength or whether it will actually intervene. The group stressed that all options are on the table and expressed hope for a peaceful solution.
Political researchers warn against any military intervention in Niger, stressing that any chaos that afflicts Niger now will spread to all countries of the region in West Africa.