France demands the release of French official detained in Niger

France’s foreign ministry on Tuesday issued a plea for the prompt release of a French official currently detained by security forces in Niger.

The foreign ministry reported that on September 8, an advisor to French citizens in Niger was apprehended by Niger security forces.

“From day one, our embassy has worked to guarantee consular protection to our compatriot,” it said.

The individual in question holds the position of “conseiller des Français de l’étranger” (advisor to French citizens abroad), an elected official responsible for representing French expatriates and maintaining close collaboration with the country’s embassies and consulates.

As per information available on the foreign ministry’s website, there are a total of 442 such advisors serving worldwide. Their primary responsibility is to assist French expatriates in matters pertaining to employment, education, social security, and various other concerns. These advisors are elected to serve six-year terms.

In the previous month, Niger’s ruling junta issued a directive for the police to remove France’s ambassador, escalating the strained relations between France and its former colony. Paris has asserted that the military officers who assumed control in Niamey in late July lacked the authority to expel the French ambassador.

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