“The band is stuck in the United States indefinitely”: Mdou Moctar are stranded in the US following a coup in Niger – and need your help raising funds

“The band is stuck in the United States indefinitely”: Mdou Moctar are stranded in the US following a coup in Niger – and need your help raising funds

Nigerien electric guitar icon Mdou Moctar says he and his bandmates been left stranded in North America following the outbreak of civil war in his home country. 

President Mohamed Bazoum, Niger’s democratically elected leader, was recently overthrown by the wing of the military that was setup to protect him, the presidential guards. 

As such, the country has been split along those who support the military leadership and those who feel the democratic leader should be reinstated, resulting in violent unrest.

Moctar, meanwhile, was undertaking a scheduled tour of the US when the news broke and he and his Nigerien bandmates guitarist Ahmoudou Madassane and drummer Souleymane Ibrahim have been left unable to return home. 

Now a fundraiser has been launched via GoFundMe in order to raise the money to pay for accommodation and living expenses while they remain in the US.

“As a result of the dangerous political climate, the three are unable to return to their homes and families,” explains the accompanying statement. 

“Borders in and out of the country have been closed, along with financial institutions, and foreign nationals have left the country on emergency flights, in fear of an imminent civil war.”

The fundraiser had an initial target of $75,000, which we’re pleased to say has now been reached, but it remains open to donations, which makes sense given the group have no idea how long they may be forced to stay in the country.

“At present, the band is stuck in the United States indefinitely,” says the GoFundMe statement. 

“The costs associated with finding emergency housing and living expenses for the band while they are stuck here in the US are considerable as well as undefined, as there is no timeframe for when peace may return to the region. 

“As the band’s touring activity regularly supports their families at home in Niger, this extended stay in the US will, unfortunately, divert that income away from their dependents.”

Here’s hoping Moctar and band are able to safely return to their families as soon as possible. 

In the meantime, should you wish to lend a hand to a phenomenal guitar talent and band in very worrying circumstances, head over to the GoFundMe page.

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