Home World France to pull ambassador, military contingent from coup-hit Niger

France to pull ambassador, military contingent from coup-hit Niger

France to pull ambassador, military contingent from coup-hit Niger

France has determined to withdraw its ambassador and army contingent from coup-hit Niger over the approaching months, President Emanuel Macron introduced Sunday.

Macron’s resolution, welcomed by Niger’s army leaders as a “step toward sovereignty,” comes two months after a coup within the West African nation that ousted the pro-Paris president.

“France has decided to withdraw its ambassador. In the next hours our ambassador and several diplomats will return to France,” Macron advised French tv in an interview, with out giving particulars on how this might be organized.

Macron added that army cooperation was “over” and French troops would withdraw in “the months and weeks to come” with a full pullout “by the end of the year.”

Niger’s army rulers responded swiftly in an announcement learn out on nationwide tv.

“This Sunday, we celebrate a new step towards the sovereignty of Niger,” stated the assertion from the army rulers, who seized energy by overthrowing President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26.

“This is a historic moment, which speaks to the determination and will of the Nigerien people,” the Niger assertion added.

Ban on French plane

Earlier Sunday the Agency for the Safety of Air Navigation in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA) stated on its web site that the army rulers had banned “French aircraft” from flying over the nation’s airspace.

It was not clear if this might have an effect on the ambassador being flown out.

In his feedback, Macron stated that “in the weeks and months to come, we will consult with the putschists, because we want this to be done peacefully.”

France retains about 1,500 troopers in Niger as a part of an anti-terrorist deployment within the Sahel area. Macron stated the post-coup authorities “no longer wanted to fight against terrorism.”

Niger’s army leaders had advised French Ambassador Sylvain Itte to go away the nation after they overthrew Bazoum.

But a 48-hour ultimatum for him to go away, issued in August, handed with him nonetheless in place because the French authorities refused to conform, or to acknowledge the army regime as official.

Earlier this month, Macron stated the ambassador and his workers had been “literally being held hostage” within the mission, consuming army rations with no meals deliveries.

In Sunday’s interview, Macron reaffirmed France’s place that Bazoum was being held “hostage” and remained the “sole legitimate authority” within the nation.

“He was targeted by this coup d’etat because he was carrying out courageous reforms and because there was a largely ethnic settling of scores and a lot of political cowardice,” he argued.

‘Very fearful about area’

The coup in opposition to Bazoum was the third such putsch within the area in as a few years, following comparable actions in Mali and Burkina Faso in 2021 and 2022 that additionally compelled the pullouts of French troops.

But the Niger coup is especially bruising for Macron after he sought to make a particular ally of Niamey and a hub for France’s presence within the area following the Mali coup. The U.S. additionally has greater than 1,000 troops within the nation.

Macron frequently speaks by telephone to Bazoum, who stays underneath home arrest within the presidential residence.

The French president has repeatedly spoken of constructing a historic change to France’s post-colonial imprint in Africa however analysts say Paris is shedding affect throughout the continent, particularly within the face of a rising Chinese, Turkish and Russian presence.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) threatened army motion to revive Bazoum however up to now its threats, which had been strongly supported by France, haven’t transferred into motion.

“We are not here to be hostages of the putschists,” stated Macron. “The putschists are the allies of disorder,” he added.

Macron stated that terrorist assaults had been inflicting “dozens of deaths every day in Mali” after its coup and that now such assaults had resumed in Niger.

“I am very worried about this region,” he stated.

“France, sometimes alone, has taken all its responsibilities and I am proud of our military. But we are not responsible for the political life of these countries and we draw all the consequences.”

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