Ottawa has announced it will stop providing financial assistance to Niger’s government in the wake of a military coup in the West African country.
Leaders of the military junta are facing a Sunday deadline from the Economic Community of West African States, known as ECOWAS, to reinstate democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum or face possible foreign intervention.
Global Affairs Canada says in a statement that the coup is a serious threat to democracy and stability in the region.
It says the Canadian government is suspending all direct funding to Niger’s government, but other assistance to vulnerable populations will continue.
Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly says in the statement that Canada supports ECOWAS mediation efforts, and the democratically elected government must immediately be reinstated.
The Global Affairs Department says a bilateral development deal signed with Niger in 2020 had been expected to reach an annual budget of $10 million per year by 2026.
The program disbursed $2.71 million in the 2021-2022 financial year.