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The military junta in Niger ordered the French ambassador to leave the country. This was reported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the West African country. The ambassador was given 48 hours to leave.
The French Foreign Ministry said in response to the decision that it had “taken note of the request”, but that only the “legitimately elected Nigerien authorities” could make such a request.
The French news agency reported earlier that the ambassadors of Germany, the United States, Ghana and Nigeria will have to leave as well. A spokesman for Niger’s foreign ministry denied making “any such request to the US government”. According to the ministry, pictures of messages calling for the departure of American diplomats are circulated, but those messages are not from the government. A source in the military council told Reuters that only the French ambassador had asked to leave.
And last month, a coup took place in Niger. The coup plotters, led by General Tiany, turned against the old colonial France and ended military cooperation with Paris. France still has more than 1,000 soldiers in the African country, who are helping fight jihadist groups.
forces from neighboring countries
The United Nations and Western countries opposed the coup in Niger. And they demand the return of the former president Bazoum. France backs the West African alliance of nations, ECOWAS, which threatens to intervene if democracy is not restored. The junta accuses ECOWAS of allowing itself to be used as the vehicle of French colonialism.
Last week, ECOWAS representatives said a date for military intervention had been agreed, without announcing that date. Meanwhile, Niger’s rulers say they will not succumb to external pressure. Yesterday, the military council allowed forces from neighboring Mali and Burkina Faso to provide assistance to the Niger regime in the event of a conflict. In those countries, too, a new regime has come to power through coups d’état in recent years, and there are protests against France’s influence.
Why is the world watching Niger?
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