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Niger: France Backs Down, To Withdraw Envoy, Troops

President Emmanuel Macron has said that France would soon withdraw its ambassador from Niger Republic, followed by its military contingent.

The colonial power had kicked against the coupists who overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum of Niger Republic in July 2023.

The country also insisted on the reinstatement of Bazoum.

France has about 1,500 soldiers in Niger as part of an anti-jihadist deployment in the Sahel region.

In the wake of the coup, France had said its troops would remain in the West African nation despite hostilities by the junta.

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Also, Niger’s military leaders had told the French ambassador, Sylvain Itte, to leave the country.

However, a 48-hour ultimatum for him to leave, issued in August, passed with him still in place as the French government refused to comply, or to recognise the military regime as legitimate.

However, in an interview with French television on Sunday evening, Macron said “France has decided to withdraw its ambassador. In the next hours, our ambassador and several diplomats will return to France.”

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He added that military cooperation was over and French troops would withdraw in “the months and weeks to come” with a full pull out by the end of the year.

“In the weeks and months to come, we will consult with the putschists, because we want this to be done peacefully,” he added.

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