Europeans evacuate Niger; Mali and Burkina Faso back rebellion

By August 2, 2023

Niger (MNN) — Regional stability crumbles as tensions escalate in Niger.

The West African coalition ECOWAS says it could use force against Niger if coup leaders don’t reinstate the President. Military leaders in neighboring Mali and Burkina Faso back the rebellion, saying any foreign intervention is a declaration of war.

Burkina Faso and Mali are “standing up in support of the coup because they just had military coups; they don’t want the attention drawn to them,” World Mission’s Greg Kelley says.

“Meanwhile, the West is kind of fumbling, not sure how to handle it.”

Emergency evacuations of French and other European nationals began yesterday. Plus, “a lot of countries in Europe are pulling their aid,” Kelley says.

“The tragedy of that is Niger is one of the poorest countries, not just in Africa, but in the entire world.”

Analysts say Niger stood as the West’s last hope to combat extremist expansion in the Sahel. As noted earlier this month, the new global epicenter of authoritarian rule and terrorism lies in West and Central Africa.

(Photo by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay)

On July 26, presidential security forces ousted President Mohamed Bazoum, holding him captive in his home. Yesterday, military police arrested five members of Bazoum’s administration.

Today, the reality on the ground is constantly changing. “It’s a very fluid story that’s changing by the hour,” Kelley says.

“Most people living in Niger don’t even know what’s happening. They are just trying to survive the day.”

World Mission remains committed to local church partners.

“When something like this happens, it’s a real opportunity for the Body of Christ to come alongside suffering people in the name of Jesus. It gives them a platform of hope,” Kelley says.

Believers demonstrate Christ’s love by “giving them a helping hand, whether it’s food [or] water; our solar-powered audio Bibles become a real source of inspiration and blessing.”

Send help through World Mission here. Ask the Lord to sustain and strengthen Gospel workers in Niger.



In the header image, Niger’s then-Foreign Minister Mohamed Bazou speaks at a 2011 security summit, saying the Sahel has become “a powder keg” as a result of the Libya crisis. Today, Nigerien President Mohamed Bazou remains in coup leaders’ custody. (Wikimedia Commons)