Netherlands suspends direct cooperation with Niger government

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The Dutch government is temporarily suspending its direct cooperation with Niger’s government following the coup on July 26th, it said in an official statement on Friday.

The Netherlands was supporting programs in the field of development cooperation and security which ran through the Nigerien government, but said it does not want to support the perpetrators of the coup.

In the statement, the Dutch government added that it was looking into sponsoring other humanitarian programs in Niger that are run through the United Nations, other international organizations, or local partners.

Since the coup, various Western nations have cut aid, even though Niger is one of the poorest nations in the world and relies on outside help for nearly half of its annual budget.

Given its uranium and oil riches and pivotal role in the war with Islamist rebels in the Sahel region, Niger has strategic significance for the United States, China, Europe, and Russia.

(Reporting by Charlotte Van Campenhout)