Monday, February 26, 2024

Thousands of Nigeriens Demonstrate, Demanding Withdrawal of 1,500 French Troops from the Country

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Earlier today, thousands gathered in Niamey to express their demand for the withdrawal of French troops from Niger, a move sought by the junta that seized power in late June. The demonstrators gathered near a military base housing French soldiers, responding to the call made by several civic organizations opposed to the presence of the French military in the country.

Amidou Gourou, a protester, explained their presence, stating that the protest signifies their “determination, commitment and devotion to getting the French military force and all the military bases out of the country.”

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Niger’s military regime escalated its criticism of France on Friday, accusing Paris of “blatant interference” for supporting the ousted president, Mohamed Bazoum.

In early August, the regime declared the termination of military agreements with France, despite France’s continued claims of their legitimacy. France currently maintains around 1,500 soldiers in Niger to assist in counteracting jihadism in the region.

The military rulers additionally announced the immediate “expulsion” of the French ambassador, Sylvain Itte, and the revocation of his diplomatic immunity, citing concerns about public order.

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his appreciation for Itte’s work in Niger on Monday and indicated that he would remain in the country, despite having been given a 48-hour deadline to depart Niger a week earlier.

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