French Ambassador Expelled from Niger: Illegitimate Junta Move

The junta in power in Niger since the recent coup ordered the departure of the French ambassador to Niamey on Friday. The soldiers give him 48 hours to leave the country.

The military regime that took power in Niamey decided on Friday August 25 to expel the French ambassador to Niger. According to the junta, he has 48 hours to leave. This announcement comes after a month of demonstrations, decisions and declarations hostile to French politics.

The Nigerien Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that in the face of “the refusal of the French ambassador in Niamey to respond to the invitation […] for an interview” on Friday “and other actions by the French government contrary to the interests of Niger” , the authorities “decided to withdraw their approval from Mr. Sylvain Itté and to ask him to leave Nigerien territory within forty-eight hours”.

The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs reacted on Friday evening by indicating that “the putschists do not have the authority to make this request, the approval of the ambassador emanating only from the legitimate elected authorities of Niger”.

A position shared by Hassoumi Massoudou, head of diplomacy for Mr. Bazoum, who on X “recalls that the ambassador is accredited to the elected President”.

On Wednesday, Emmanuel Macron called for the “restoration of constitutional order” in Niger and the release of President Bazoum. “This coup is a blow against democracy in Niger, against the people of Niger and against the fight against terrorism,” he said.

The military regime accused Paris of wanting to intervene militarily in Niger to put Mohamed Bazoum back in place and claimed that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was an organization “in the pay” of France.

This article is originally published on atlantico.fr

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