Niger says French ambassador has left the country

France’s ambassador to Niger was evacuated from the country in the early hours of Wednesday morning, according to two security sources, approximately one month after the military government issued an order for his expulsion.

Following a coup in July, the ruling junta directed French Ambassador Sylvain Itte to depart the country within 48 hours at the end of August, in response to what they perceived as France’s actions “contrary to the interests of Niger.”

Initially, France disregarded the expulsion order, as they have declined to acknowledge the coup leaders, leading to daily protests taking place in front of the French embassy.

French President Emmanuel Macron stated earlier this month that Ambassador Itte and his team were essentially being detained at the embassy, expressing concern about their status.

During the weekend, Macron declared that the ambassador was being recalled and would be returning to France. He also announced the withdrawal of 1,500 French troops.

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