Ruto offers to help resolve Niger conflict after coup
President William Ruto has offered to help Niger resolve its conflict following a coup that has seen President Mohamed Bazoum overthrown from power.
In a statement on Friday, July 28, 2023, Ruto termed the coup as an act that subverts democracy, calling for the immediate release of President Bazoum by his guards.
"Kenya joins the rest of the world to condemn, in the strongest terms, this unconstitutional act that subverts democracy through a coup-de-tat and calls for the immediate release of President Bazoum who is reportedly seized by members of the Presidential Guard," Ruto said.
"Kenya is willing to assist in resolving the conflict under the auspice of the Africa Union should it be deemed appropriate."
Ruto called on the orchestrators of the coup to restore the "constitutional" rule of the country by releasing the President.
"We call for the swift restoration of constitutional rule ensuring protection of the population and a return to full civilian authority while upholding utmost respect for the country's institutions. In this moment of strife, we implore all parties to engage in constructive discourse to restore peace in this fraternal nation which has steadfastly stood as a bulwark against terrorism and its agents in the Sahel region," Ruto said.
"Let us stand together as one to reaffirm our commitment to democracy, liberty and the progress we have achieved. We must remain vigilant guarding against any slide back into dark days that threaten the hard-fought gains in democracy," he said.
UN move on Niger
The United Nations (UN) said it has suspended its humanitarian operations in Niger. The UN has previously said more than four million people in Niger are in need of humanitarian assistance.
"Throughout our continental history, we have strived tirelessly to nurture the principles of democracy. This fundamental norm is crystallized in article 4P of the Constitutive Act of the Africa Union which unequivocally condemns and rejects any unconstitutional change of government," Ruto added.
On Thursday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres demanded the release of Mr Bazoum "immediately and unconditionally".
Mr Bazoum tweeted a defiant statement on Thursday morning: "The hard-won achievements will be safeguarded. All Nigeriens who love democracy and freedom will see to it."