Fundraiser launched for Mdou Moctar, who is stuck in the US following Niger violence

Borders in and out of Niger have been closed since a coup in the country last month.

Mdou Moctar performing onstage

Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

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Mdou Moctar and his bandmates are currently stuck in the US following violence in Niger as the democratically elected president of the nation was overthrown on 26 July.

President Bazoum was the first elected leader to succeed another in Niger since independence in 1960. His captors have “suspended the country’s constitution and installed Gen Abdourahmane Tchiani as head of state”, reports BBC News.

Moctar started his career in Agadez, a Saharan city in central Niger. Both himself and two of his Nigerien band members, Ahmoudou Madassane and Souleymane Ibrahim, are unable to return to their homes and families following a tour over in the US.

Borders in and out of Niger have been closed. In fear of an imminent civil war, both financial institutions and foreign nationals have also left the country on emergency flights.

A fundraiser on Go Fund Me has been launched to help support the band whilst they remain stuck in the US for the foreseeable future until they are able to return home safely.

“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,” states the GoFundMe Page.

“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.”

Americana guitarist Jason Isbell has also shown support for the band, and has encouraged people to donate what they can.

“Sure, we’ve had some shit go down back at home while we’re on tour, but never anything like this,” he says. “Help out this incredible band if you can. We all need them to keep making music.”

Any donations will be used directly to secure housing and cover costs for food, healthcare, travel, and any other necessities that Mdou Moctar and his band need whilst in America. A donation goal of $75,000 has been set, with nearly $72,000 already given at the time of writing. Find out more and donate over at GoFundMe.

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