Macron: Ambassador will remain in Niger despite pressures from junta

French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed on Monday that the French ambassador will remain in Niger despite pressure from the military council’s leaders, stating that the French diplomats in Niamey have shown their commitment to their responsibilities.

As he addressed ambassadors of his country gathered in Paris, Macron stated, “France will continue to support President Mohamed Bazoum until his return to the presidency of Niger.”

He continued, “France’s diplomacy respects the sovereignty of nations,” adding that Europe’s borders with Africa face threats due to the growing anger against the legacy of colonialism.

The vicinity of the French embassy in Niamey witnessed intense protests yesterday demanding the departure of the ambassador and the exit of French nationals from the country.

The military council, which announced its control over power and the removal of President Mohamed Bazoum late last month, granted the French ambassador, Sylvain Itte, a 48-hour deadline to leave the country. However, the ambassador remains present despite the expiration of the deadline.

It is worth noting that the capital, Niamey, hosts a large French military base, which includes dozens of military aircraft and is relied upon to confront armed groups in the African Sahel region.

The base also undertakes tasks related to monitoring irregular African migration waves towards Europe. The size of the French forces is limited, not exceeding 1,500 personnel.

However, since the military coup that took place in the country on July 26th, animosity towards Paris has grown, especially with the accusation that the military accuses France of encouraging the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to intervene militarily to restore power to President Mohamed Bazoum.

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