A Threat to Democracy and Stability
In a significant move that underscores its commitment to democracy and stability, Canada has taken a resolute stance against the recently attempted coup d’état that shook Niger and the Sahel region on July 26.
The audacious bid to overthrow the government has raised concerns about the delicate balance of democracy and the rule of law in the region, posing a grave threat to the hard-won progress toward peace, stability, and development.
Canada’s Response to the Niger Coup Crisis
Responding to the alarming situation, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of International Development, announced a crucial decision today.
Canada will suspend its development assistance that directly supports the Government of Niger, signaling a clear message of solidarity with the people of Niger and their aspirations for democracy, inclusive governance, and the rule of law.
Upholding Principles Amidst Crisis
In the face of the attempted coup, Canada stands firm in its commitment to democratic principles. The suspension of direct budgetary support to the Government of Niger is a strategic step to ensure the effective and intentional use of funds, particularly in a context where the rule of law is under threat.
This suspension, however, will not affect Canada’s ongoing efforts to provide crucial support in areas such as health, education, economic empowerment, and gender equality to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged populations within the country.
A Bilateral Cooperation Program at Stake
Canada’s relationship with Niger has been marked by a bilateral development cooperation program, which commenced in October 2020.
The program, initially set to reach an annual budget of $10 million by 2026, witnessed a disbursement of $2.71 million during the 2021-22 period.
This suspension underscores Canada’s concern about the situation’s gravity and the imperative to uphold democratic values.
Diplomatic Call to Action
As part of its diplomatic efforts, Canada is actively supporting the mediation initiatives undertaken by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The Canadian government calls for the immediate release of President Bazoum and his family, and the restoration of the democratically elected government.
This diplomatic stand reflects the international community’s shared commitment to upholding democratic norms and constitutional order.
Standing Together in Crisis
Minister Mélanie Joly emphasizes,
“Canada stands with the international community and expresses its support to the ECOWAS mediation efforts for the return of constitutional order in Niger. The democratically elected government must be reinstated immediately.”
This statement underscores Canada’s unwavering commitment to democratic governance and the rule of law.
Prioritizing Stability and Cooperation
Ahmed Hussein, Minister of International Development, echoes these sentiments, highlighting the broader implications of the crisis, stating,
“We are concerned by the impact that this seizure of power by force will have on the people of Niger, particularly the most vulnerable. Respect for democracy is essential for stability and cooperation efforts in Niger.”
This underscores the interconnectedness of stability, cooperation, and democratic values in the region.
Emergency Support for Canadians
For Canadian citizens in Niger requiring emergency consular assistance, the Embassy of Canada in Bamako, Mali, can be contacted at +223 44 98 04 50.
Alternatively, assistance can be sought through Global Affairs Canada’s Emergency Watch and Response Centre via phone at +1 613 996 8885 (collect calls accepted where available), text message at +1 613 686 3658, or through platforms such as Telegram (Canada Emergency Abroad), WhatsApp (+1 613 909 8881), and Signal (+1 613 909 8087).
In taking a stand against the attempted coup in Niger and suspending government support, Canada underscores its commitment to democratic principles, stability, and cooperation in the Sahel region.
The resolute stance sends a clear message that the international community stands united in upholding democracy and constitutional order.