APA – Niamey (Niger) – On Sunday 24 September, Paris announced the recall of its ambassador and the withdrawal of French forces from Niger.
The Nigerien authorities that emerged from the July 26 coup d’Etat reacted to Emmanuel Macron’s announcement that he was recalling his ambassador, Sylvain Itt”, and withdrawing French troops from Niger. “The National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland, the government and the people of Niger take note,” Colonel Major Amadou Abdramane declared on Tuesday September 26.
The spokesman for the Niger junta added that Niamey was waiting for the French President’s statement ‘to be followed by official action on the timetable for the withdrawal of French troops from Niger.”
According to Colonel-Major Abdramane, this withdrawal “must be established within a negotiated framework and by mutual agreement for greater effectiveness.”
In his interview with TF1 and France 2 on Sunday 24 September, Emmanuel Macron said that “we will consult with the putschists because we want it to be done calmly, by the end of the year.”
General Abdourahamane Tiani led a group of officers united around the CNSP in overthrowing the regime of President Mohamed Bazoum on 26 July. In response to the sanctions immediately imposed by France, including the suspension of development aid, the CNSP denounced its defense agreements with Paris.
Immediately afterwards, the ruling military asked the French forces to leave Niger. The French forces had until Saturday September 3 to comply. But Paris refused to comply with the demands of the new Niger authorities, arguing that they were not legitimate.
Since then, tensions have escalated between the two capitals. Niamey declared Ambassador Sylvain Itte persona non grata and gave him 48 hours to pack his bags. Addressing the Ambassadors, Emmanuel Macron asked the French diplomat to stay, insisting on the need for Paris to be firm with the putschists who are considered to be “Niger’s only problems.” He reiterated this on Sunday. “I’m telling you, the putschists are friends of disorder. As I speak, there have been more deaths linked to Islamist terrorism since the start of the coup d’Etat than there were in the previous 18 months,” he regretted.