Germany suspends financial aid, development cooperation with Niger

Germany, on Monday, said it had suspended financial aid to Niger as well as development cooperation with the jihadist-hit nation following last week’s coup, and warned it could take further measures.

Berlin has “suspended all direct support payments to the central government of Niger until further notice,” a foreign ministry spokesman told a press briefing.

“Depending on developments in the coming days, we may take further measures,” the spokesman added, without giving further details.

The development ministry had also decided to “suspend bilateral development cooperation,” a spokeswoman told the briefing.

The European Union and former colonial power France had already suspended financial aid to Niger and security cooperation at the weekend.

The Germany military has about 100 troops stationed in Niger and has an important air transport and logistics base in the capital Niamey, which is playing a role in Berlin’s withdrawal of personnel from neighbouring Mali.

Germany is withdrawing its troops from Mali following the UN’s decision to end a peacekeeping mission.

A defence ministry spokesman said operations at the base had been suspended but added that “the threat situation has not changed” since the putsch, and personnel there were well.

The foreign ministry also said there were currently no plans to evacuate Germans from Niger.

Niger’s elected president and Western ally, Mohamed Bazoum, has been held by the military since Wednesday last week, in the third coup in as many years to fell a leader in the Sahel.

General Abdourahamane Tiani, the head of the powerful presidential guard, has declared himself leader. African leaders Sunday gave the junta one week to cede power or face the possible use of force. (AFP)