France Ends Military Ties with Niger Amid Rising Tensions

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As tensions rise following a military coup, French President Emmanuel Macron declares an end to diplomatic and military liaisons between France and Niger. Announcing the recall of the French ambassador and fellow diplomats, Macron emphasized the upcoming departure of French troops in his remarks.

The local military faction, which assumed power over Niger in July, has voiced endorsement of France’s decision. “This Sunday we celebrate a new step towards the sovereignty of Niger,” the group expressed in a statement that was highlighted by the AFP news agency.

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An estimated 1,500 French soldiers currently reside in the landlocked West African nation, aiding in the containment of Islamist radicalism. Although the United States has a significant troop presence on the ground as well, it has not received a directive to withdraw.

This departure from Niger, a former French colony, represents the climactic culmination of months of hostility and demonstrations against French occupants, primarily within Niger’s capital, Niamey. It also marks a seismic shift in France’s anti-terrorist initiatives in the Sahel region, noticeably constricting France’s sphere of influence in the area.

Despite the junta’s celebration of this development, Macron remains resolute. In an interview with France’s TF1 and France 2 television stations, the French leader asserted that France would “not be held hostage by the putschists”. He held steadfast to his support for Niger’s deposed President, Mohamed Bazoum who is currently held captive by the coup leaders.

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