France will withdraw its soldiers from Niger

French President Emmanuel Macron made the announcement on Sunday, nearly two months after the coup

French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Sunday that France will withdraw its soldiers and diplomatic staff from Niger, the sub-Saharan country where the army seized power in an early August coup. Macron said that military cooperation with Niger had “ended” and that French soldiers (about 1,500) would leave the country “in the next few months,” possibly by the end of the year: the withdrawal of French soldiers was an explicit request from Niger. A new government, installed and supported by the army.

The 1,500 French soldiers in Niger were mainly involved in operations to combat Islamic extremism spreading throughout the Sahel (some of these groups are affiliated with the Islamic State or Al-Qaeda). Before the coup, Niger remained one of the few countries still ruled by a president close to Western governments, but the coup was immediately marked by strong anti-French sentiment. And in the immediate following days they were Generalization Several photos of junta supporters waving banners or chanting anti-France slogans. Many of them praised Russia and waved Russian flags and banners reading: “Down with France, long live Putin.”

Macron added that the French ambassador and a number of other members of the French diplomatic corps currently in the country will leave Niger within the next few hours. The withdrawal of French diplomatic staff was also a request from Niger’s new government, which Macron has so far refused to accept. At the end of August, the junta gave French Ambassador Sylvain Etty 48 hours to leave: once the deadline had expired without France summoning him, the junta gave French Ambassador Sylvain Etty 48 hours to leave. Cancel – cancel a garde Diplomatique.

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Tensions between the two countries have continued to rise in recent weeks. Macron announced the withdrawal of soldiers and diplomats in an interview France -2, a French public television channel. He added that the withdrawal of soldiers would take place “peacefully” and in coordination with the ruling military junta in Niger. Macron also said he had informed ousted President Mohamed Bazoum, who was democratically elected, of his decision: He said he considered him a “hostage” and “the only legitimate authority” in Niger.

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