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Ousted Niger President Calls For U.S. Intervention In Own Country

Countercurrents Collective

The ousted Nigerien president Mohamed Bazoum has asked for U.S. help to defeat the military junta that seized power.   As a key argument, Bazoum brought up that earlier this year, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Niger “a model of resilience, a model of democracy, a model of cooperation.”  The ousted President did not make a single reference to uranium, Niger’s key export to former colonial master France.  On Sunday, the new military government of Niger announced it would suspend the export of uranium and gold to France, to the accolades of some of the local population.  Landlocked Niger is the world’s seventh-largest producer of uranium. A French company controls about two-thirds of the country’s output.  In a statement congratulating the former French colony on its independence day, Biden said Niger faces a “grave challenge to its democracy.”  France currently has 1,500 troops and a drone base in Niger, while the US has 1,100 troops and two drone bases.  Niger also has a critical stock of natural resources, including uranium, coal, gold, iron ore, petroleum, molybdenum, and salt. It is the world’s seventh-biggest producer of uranium.  U.S. officials continue to recognize Bazoum as Niger’s legitimate leader.