The United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has applauded President Bola Tinubu’s leadership of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to restore constitutional order in the Niger Republic.
Blinken on his verified Twitter handle on Monday evening, said he spoke to Tinubu about their joint efforts to reinstate constitutional order in Niger.
Blinken wrote, “Spoke to Nigerian President Tinubu to commend his leadership of the Economic Community of West African States and discussed shared efforts to restore constitutional order in Niger.”
Bazoum, 63, and his family have been held at the president’s official residence since the coup, with international concern mounting over his conditions in detention.
On Monday, the military-appointed prime minister, Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine, a civilian, declared Niger would thwart ECOWAS’s sanctions threat.
“We think that even though it is an unfair challenge that has been imposed on us, we should be able to overcome it. And we will overcome it,” he told German broadcaster Deutsche Welle.
The bloc has severed financial transactions and electricity supplies and closed borders with landlocked Niger, blocking much-needed imports to one of the world’s poorest countries.