The United States President, Joe Biden, has condemned the unconstitutional takeover of government in West and Central Africa while reiterating his country’s unwavering support for democracy across the globe.
Delivering his remarks before the 78th United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, Biden expressed support for the actions taken by the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States to pressurise the military junta in Niger Republic to restore constitutional order and reinstate the ousted President.
Niger’s ousted President, Mohamed Bazoum, was removed by a military junta on July 26, 2023, in a coup that has been roundly condemned by the United Nations, US, United Kingdom, African Union, ECOWAS, and France, among other key international stakeholders.
ECOWAS had ordered a standby army to prepare to use force to restore democracy in Niger after several failed talks with the junta.
During his remarks, President Biden backed the AU, ECOWAS and other regional bodies working to protect democracy while assuring the world that democracy remained the best tool for countries to better meet the challenges facing humanity today.
He said, “We convened the Summit for Democracy to strengthen democratic institutions, root out corruption and reject political violence. And at this moment where democratically elected governments have been toppled in quick succession in Western and Central Africa, we’re reminded this work is as urgent and important as ever.
“We stand with the African Union and ECOWAS and other regional bodies to support constitutional rule. We will not retreat from the values that make us strong. we will defend democracy, our best tool to meet the challenges that we face around the world and we are working to show how democracy is delivering in ways that matter to people’s lives.”
President Bola Tinubu had recently said he was the one stopping the ECOWAS from deploying soldiers in Niger in tandem with the regional bloc’s declaration to use force, among other options, to restore democracy in Niger.
Tinubu had said this while recently hosting the US Presidential Envoy and Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Ambassador Molly Phee, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Phee had delivered to Tinubu an invitation from Biden for a meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.
The Niger coup is expected to form part of the critical topics of discussions by the two leaders.
President Biden also spoke about climate change and its devastating impacts as well as Artificial Intelligence urging that the emerging technology should be galvanised by nations for the good and protection of the citizens.
The US leader also condemned the Russian war in Ukraine and rallied global support for the Ukranian people.
He also pushed for the expansion of the United Nations Security Council with the injection of fresh permanent and non-permanent members.
Biden wants global institutions to be more responsive to the plight of its members, particularly the developing nations battling poor income and poverty.
He said, “The US is working across the board to make global institutions more responsive. For example, we have taken significant steps to scale up the World Bank, expanding its financing to lower middle-income countries so it could help boost progress for meeting sustainable development goals and better address interconnected challenges like climate change and fragility.”
Biden said he had last month asked the US Congress for ‘additional funds to expand the World Bank financing by $25bn’ adding that the G20 is also expected to rally bigger economies of the world to mobilise more funding for the global bank ‘so that we can collectively deliver the transformational boost to world Bank lending.’