Diplomatic Tensions: Paris Holds Ground Amid Junta Threats

It’s an ultimatum broadcast live on Nigerien television, as seen in the video at the top of this article. “The competent Nigerien authorities have decided to withdraw their approval from Mr. Sylvain Itté and to ask him to leave Nigerien territory within 48 hours”, reads the presenter of the newspaper. The statement is signed by Niger’s foreign ministry, set up by the military junta that took power in the country just a month ago. The French ambassador has until Sunday to leave the country, but Paris refuses to call him back.

The head of the junta, General Tchiani (also called Tiani) reproaches him in particular for having refused an interview and evokes other actions of France, deemed contrary to the interests of Niger. This summons is refused by the Quai d’Orsay, which responded in a press release: “The putschists do not have the authority to make this request”. A position shared on X (ex-Twitter) by Hassoumi Massoudou, the head of diplomacy of the Bazoum administration, who “recalls that the ambassador is accredited to the elected President”.

France, a recurring target of pro-junta demonstrators

Since the coup d’état on July 26, the pressure has been growing on Paris. From the first days after the overthrow of President Bazoum, the French embassy had been the target of pro-junta demonstrators. The putschists notably accuse France of wanting to intervene militarily to restore the ousted president to his duties.

On Friday, there was a new demonstration in Niamey to demand the departure of French troops before the beginning of September. Faced with the junta, France has so far chosen intransigence. Nearly 1,500 French soldiers are still deployed in Niger in the fight against Islamist terrorism.

This article is originally published on tf1info.fr

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