France Pulls Its Ambassador From Niger, To Withdraw Troops by End of 2023
Photo : AFP
Niamey: France has decided to pull its ambassador from Niger after the military coup. In a televised address, French President Emmanuel Macron announced the decision, adding that France would also reduce its military presence in Niger by the end of the year.
France has decided to withdraw its ambassador. In the next hours our ambassador and several diplomats will return to France,” stated Macron during a televised interview on Sunday.
He added that French troops would withdraw in the coming months and completely pull out by the end of the year.
Since the military coup overthrew the Nigerian government, the junta leaders have been demanding the exit of the French ambassador and its troops. Tensions increased after the former coloniser refused to recognise the coup as the official government of Niger.
French troops are also being pulled out from neighbouring coups in Mali and Burkina Faso. In response to Macron's decision, the Niger junta has said the withdrawal of the French military is a "new step towards the sovereignty” of Niger.
“Imperialist and neo-colonialist forces are no longer welcome on our national territory. The new era of cooperation, based on mutual respect and sovereignty is already underway,” the junta added.
Since the July coup, France deployed around 1,500 troops in the region and refused to pull back its mission from the region, despite multiple calls and protests for France to leave Niger.
As per sources, the President of Niger - Mohammed Bazoum was the one who asked Macron to withdraw its forces and Ambassador Sylvian Itte from the country to reduce tensions. President Bazoum is being held hostage by the junta leaders in Niger’s Presidential Palace.