ABUJA, Nigeria — Niger’s new army leaders accused France of amassing forces for a potential army intervention within the nation following the coup in July. French President Emmanuel Macron stated Sunday that he would solely take motion on the demand of deposed Nigerien chief Mohamed Bazoum.
Niger’s junta spokesman, Maj. Amadou Abdramane, stated that France can also be contemplating collaborating in such an intervention with the Financial Group of West African States, a regional bloc often called ECOWAS.
“France continues to deploy its forces in a number of ECOWAS nations as a part of preparations for an aggression in opposition to Niger,” Abdramane stated late Saturday in an announcement broadcast on state tv.
Macron stated he would not immediately reply to the junta’s declare when requested about it after the Group of 20 summit.
“If we redeploy something, it is going to solely be on the demand of Bazoum and in coordination with him, not with these people who find themselves holding a president hostage,” he stated.
Macron, nonetheless, added that France “totally” helps the place of ECOWAS, which has stated it is contemplating a army intervention as an choice to reinstate Bazoum as president.
Since toppling Bazoum, the junta in Niger, a former French colony, has leveraged anti-French sentiment among the many inhabitants — asking the French ambassador and troops to depart — to shore up its help in resistance to regional and worldwide stress to reinstate the president. The nation had been a strategic accomplice of France and the West within the battle in opposition to rising jihadi violence within the conflict-ridden Sahel area, the arid expanse under the Sahara Desert.
The junta spokesman stated that France has deployed army plane and armored autos in nations like Ivory Coast, Senegal and Benin for such an aggression, a declare that The Related Press could not independently confirm.
“For this reason the Nationwide Council for the Safety of the Fatherland and the transitional authorities launch a solemn enchantment to the good individuals of Niger to be vigilant and by no means to demobilize till the inevitable departure of French troops from our territory,” he stated.
French army spokesperson Col. Pierre Gaudilliere, in the meantime, stated Thursday that there’s now “rather less” than its 1,500 troops in Niger who had been working with Nigerien safety forces to beat again the jihadi violence.
All French actions have been suspended for the reason that coup, “subsequently, declarations which were made (earlier by the French) are about exploring what we’re going to do with these capabilities,” Gaudilliere stated.
Angela Charlton contributed to this report from Paris.