The United States’ Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Molly Phee, has visited Nigeria to mediate on the political situation in Niger Republic, which has been under military rule since July 26.
This was disclosed in a statement on the website of the US Secretary of State.
According to the statement, the US envoy arrived in Nigeria on Friday and will hold talks with the Nigerian President, Bola Tinubu, as well as leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The meeting with regional leaders gathering for the ECOWAS Heads of State Summit is slated for Monday, December 10, the statement read.
“During her visit, she will consult with West African leaders on how the United States can best support regional efforts to return Niger to a democratic path and to promote security, stability, prosperity, and democracy in the Sahel,” a statement from the U.S. Department of State said.
Phee’s visit to Nigeria comes four months after some Nigerien military officers led by Abdourahmane Tchiani toppled President Mohamed Bazoum.
The July 26 coup has since been condemned, with Western countries supporting the efforts by the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) bloc led by President Tinubu.
In a pushback to the military takeover, the ECOWAS highest authority, led by the Nigerian president, Bola Tinubu, slapped a range of sanctions on Niger in a desperate bid to restore constitutional order.
Niger holds strategic economic and geopolitical significance internationally considering its two natural resources, uranium and oil, which are sought after in the international market.
Junta leaders have justified toppling the democratic government of Bazoum, who was accused of not containing the incessant insecurity situation in some parts of the country.