Coup: U.S. Sends Diplomat To Niger Seeks Peaceful Return Of Constitutional Order
Amb. Kathleen FitzGibbon

Niger Coup: U.S. Amb. FitzGibbon Moves To Niamey, Seeks Peaceful Return Of Constitutional Order

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The United States has sent  back Ambassador Kathleen FitzGibbon to Niger with a mission to seek diplomatic solution to the political crisis in the West African nation.

The United States is among other Western and African countries/ organisations on the forefront of advocating the restoration of constitutional order and the reinstatement of Niger’s democratically elected President Mohammed Bazoum, who was removed from power in the military coup that occured on July 26.

According a statement released on Saturday, 19 August 2023, by the office of the spokesperson, U.S. Department of State, Ambassador Kathleen FitzGibbon  traveled to Niamey, the Republic of Niger’s Capital on the direction of Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken.

The statement said she would lead the U.S. diplomatic mission in Niger and “bolster efforts to help resolve the political crisis” in the country.

The statement reads: “At the direction of Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, Ambassador Kathleen FitzGibbon has traveled to Niamey to lead our diplomatic mission in Niger and bolster efforts to help resolve the political crisis at this critical time.

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“As a career senior diplomat with significant experience specializing in West Africa, she is uniquely positioned to lead U.S. government efforts in support of the American community and the preservation of Niger’s hard-earned democracy.

“Due to the current political crisis in Niger, Ambassador FitzGibbon will not formally present credentials.  Her arrival does not reflect any change in our policy position, but responds to the need for senior leadership of our mission at a challenging time.”

It revealed that Ambassador FitzGibbon’s focus will be to advocate “a diplomatic solution that preserves constitutional order in Niger and for the immediate release of President Bazoum, his family, and all those unlawfully detained.”

It added that the United States remains  committed to working with African partners, including the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), to promote security, stability, democratic governance, and the rule of law in the Sahel.

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Who is Ambassador Kathleen FitzGibbon?

Ambassador FitzGibbon was appointed by President Joe Biden as U.S. Ambassador to Niger just as the military crisis in West African nation began.

Prior to that appointment, she had reportedly traversed different parts of Africa in the course of her diplomatic career. She had also served as the Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria, before she was reportedly returned last year, to serve in Biden’s administration.

She had earlier served as Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassies in Sierra Leone and Gabon and, as the chief of the Political and Economic section of the U.S. Embassy in Uganda. She had also served at the U.S. Embassy in Chad.

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