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Watch: Protest against French Ambassador, troops in Niger intensifies

The ruling Junta in Niger in a statement dated August 29, 2023 had given 48-hour ultimatum to Sylvain Itte to leave the country. Read More

Saturday September 2, 2023 11:28 PM, ummid.com News Network

France asked to withdraw its forces, ambassador from Niger

Niamey: Thousands of people have rallied in the Nigerien capital, Niamey, demanding from France to withdraw its ambassador and troops from the West African country immediately.

Accusing Niger’s former colonial ruler of “interference”, Niger’s new military rulers had earlier cancelled French Ambassador Sylvain Itte and his family, and asked the local police to expel them from the country.

The ruling Junta in a statement dated August 29, 2023 had given 48-hour ultimatum to Sylvain Itte to leave the country.

The protest started after Sylvain Itte refused to leave the country, saying “France does not recognise the new rulers”.

The protesters gathered near a base housing French soldiers following a call by several civic organisations hostile to the French military presence in the West African country.

They held up banners proclaiming “French army leave our country”, according to Al Jazeera.

"Divisive Interference"

Niger’s military government, which seized power on July 26, 2023, has accused French President Emmanuel Macron of using divisive rhetoric in his comments about the coup and seeking to perpetrate France’s neocolonial relationship with its former colony.

Macron wants ousted President Mohamed Bazoum to return to power and refused to recognise the new rulers.

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The expulsion of the French ambassador and the revocation of his diplomatic immunity put France in a challenging position.

France has said it would support regional bloc ECOWAS in restoring an appropriate government in Niger but also needs to protect its diplomatic staff, according to Associated Press.


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