Former French ambassador to Niger arrives in France, meets FM

French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna met Sylvain Itté on Wednesday, September 27th, to express gratitude for his service under challenging conditions, as per a ministry statement to media.

Ambassador Itté’s return follows a coup in Niger two months ago that strained relations between France and the country’s new leaders, who demanded his departure.

Itté and six colleagues left Niamey at 4:00 am (0300 GMT) after President Emmanuel Macron announced his imminent departure in a TV interview on Sunday, September 24th.

Sylvain Itté, who served for a year as ambassador to Niger, has a 35-year diplomatic career, including previous posts in Uruguay and Angola.

The junta had initially ordered Itté’s departure after seizing power, but France refused to comply, citing the need for the deposed government’s authorization.

Recent policies and historic French atrocities have further strained relations between France and its African nations, leading to growing dissatisfaction among African populations with France’s actions benefiting primarily itself.

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