He spoke after a two-hour meeting in Niger’s capital, Niamey, with some leaders of the military takeover of a country that has been a vital counter-terrorism partner of the United States.
In speaking with board leaders, Nuland said, he made “absolutely clear the kind of support we will have to legally cut off if democracy is not restored.”
If the US determines that a democratically elected government has been overthrown by unconstitutional means, federal law requires a cutoff of most US assistance, especially military aid.
He said he also underscored U.S. concern for the well-being of President Mohamed Bazoum, who he said was in custody with his wife and son.
The meeting was with General Moussa Salaou Barmou, a US-trained officer, and three of the colonels involved in the takeover. The coup’s top leader, former head of the presidential guard Abdourahamane Tchiani, did not meet with the Americans.