Niger Military Leaders Give French Ambassador 48 hours to Leave Niger.


Niger military

As ties between the west African nation and its former colonial ruler continued to deteriorate, the junta that took control of Niger on July 26 announced on Friday that it had ordered French ambassador Sylvain Itte to leave the country within 48 hours.

Niger military takeover in Niger occurred at a time of rising anti-French sentiment, similar to recent coups in Burkina Faso and Mali, two neighbouring countries, with some locals charging that France meddles in their internal affairs.
The decision to expel the ambassador was made in response to French government actions that were “contrary to the interests of Niger,” according to a statement from the junta-appointed foreign ministry”.
Niger military
Niger army sergeant and artist Maman Sani Maigochi performs as supporters of the coup gather at Place de la Concertation in the capital Niamey [AFP] (Photo Credit:

Among them, according to the report, was the envoy’s denial of a request to speak with Niger’s new foreign minister.

A request for comment from the French foreign ministry did not immediately elicit a response.
On Friday, statements that appeared to be from the government of Niger ordering the U.S. Similar to the statement regarding the French envoy, both the German and American ambassadors were ordered to leave the country.
The U.S. State Department claimed on Friday that Niger had informed it that this was not a statement from its foreign ministry. “The U.S. has not received any such request Government it declared.
Only the French ambassador had been asked to leave, according to junta and Nigerien security sources.
The coup has strained Nigeria’s relationship with France, and this latest development casts further doubt on the future of joint Niger military operations to quell an Islamist insurgency in the Sahel region, which is rife with conflict.
Following his removal from office, France has demanded that President Mohamed Bazoum be reinstated and has pledged to support ECOWAS’s efforts to undo the coup.
The stakes in a standoff with other West African countries threatening force to restore Niger’s democratically elected president increased on Friday after the Niger military government of that country authorised troops from Mali and Burkina Faso to defend it.

Niger-France relations are deteriorating, echoing post-coup developments in Mali and Burkina Faso, where French forces have been expelled and decades-long ties have been severed.

The agreement was the most recent of several actions taken by the mutinous soldiers in Niger to evade sanctions and solidify a Niger military leadership that they claim will rule for up to three years.

This further exacerbated the crisis following last month’s coup in the nation of more than 25 million people.

The United States has about a thousand Niger military personnel in the country, while France has 1,500 soldiers stationed there who have been assisting Bazoum in the fight against jihadist forces that have been present there for years.
As one of the world’s major producers of uranium and a base for French, US, and other foreign troops assisting in the fight against Islamist militant groups in the area, Niger is strategically significant.
The threat of using force was still “very much on the table” as the ECOWAS bloc of West African nations urged the coup leaders in Niger to change their minds and pushed for a return to civilian rule earlier on Friday. “.
It has also not formally acknowledged the junta’s decision to revoke a number ofNiger militaryagreements with France in early August, claiming that these had been signed with Niger’s “legitimate authorities”.
Niger-France relations are deteriorating, echoing post-coup developments in Mali and Burkina Faso, where French forces have been expelled and decades-long ties have been severed.
Before the coup last month, France and Niger, a former French colony, collaborated on the fight against armed groups. Following recent coups in the area, there has been a rising tide of anti-French sentiment, with some locals accusing France of meddling in their internal affairs.
On Thursday, the deposed president of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum, was called to be released by French President Emmanuel Macron, who also harshly criticised the coup plotters.
The strategic importance of Niger stems from its status as one of the largest uranium producers in the world and a base for French, U. S. and other foreign forces that are assisting in the fight against jihadist militant groups in the area.


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