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Niger demanded the departure of the French ambassadors

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The junta in Niger, which seized power in a coup on July 26, said on Friday that it had ordered French ambassador Sylvain Itte to leave the country within 48 hours amid a further deterioration in relations between the West African country and Paris.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Niger demanded on Friday that the ambassador France left the country, Reuters reported. The ambassador was given 48 hours to leave.

“Faced with the refusal of the French ambassador in Niamey to respond to an invitation to speak with the foreign minister, and other actions by the French government contrary to the interests of Niger, the authorities demanded the departure of Sylvain Itte,” the Niger Foreign Ministry said in a press release.

Later, it was reported that the US ambassador was also ordered to leave Niger, but the State Department denied this information. “The U.S. government has not received any such request,” a State Department spokesman said.

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The new US ambassador to Niger, Kathleen Fitzgibbons, arrived in the country just a few days ago. The Reuters agency points out that United States are in favor of a diplomatic solution to the crisis that arose after the coup d’état in Niger on 26 July.

In late July, the Nigerien military junta overthrew democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum, a Western ally and a key figure in fighting jihadist forces in the Sahel. General Tchiani declared himself the new leader of the country.

Anti-French sentiment in Niger

Tchiani makes extensive use of anti-French rhetoric. The junta terminated military agreements concluded with Paris, especially those related to the stationing of French troops as part of operations against jihadists. The military regime accused Paris of intending to intervene militarily in Niger to restore Bazoum to power.

Anti-French sentiment is growing in NigerISSIFOU DJIBO/EPA/PAP

He also claimed that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is paid for by France, a former colonial power in the region. After the coup d’état, ECOWAS imposed sanctions on Niger and threatened the military regime with the use of armed force to restore constitutional order, the AFP agency reminded AFP.

At the end of last month, demonstrators in Niamey attacked the French embassy during a demonstration in support of the putschists. “Down with France!” “Long live Russiathey shouted.

Main photo source: ISSIFOU DJIBO/EPA/PAP



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