Niger’s Junta Gives French Ambassador 48 Hours To Leave Country

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The military rulers who seized control in Niamey on July 26 have given the French ambassador 48 hours to leave Niger, the country’s minister of foreign affairs said in a statement Friday.

Faced with “the refusal of the French ambassador in Niamey to respond to an invitation” from the minister for a meeting Friday and “other actions of the French government contrary to the interests of Niger”, the authorities have decided to withdraw their approval of Sylvain Itte and ask him to depart within 48 hours, the statement said.

READ ALSO: ECOWAS Rejects Niger Junta’s 3-year Transition Plan

The coup leaders have not been shy about their relationship with France.

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Niger has accused French forces of freeing captured “terrorists” and breaching a ban on the country’s air space in an attempt to destabilise the country.

“We are witnessing a real plan of destabilisation of our country, orchestrated by French forces,” Abdramane said.

ECOWAS has imposed heavy economic sanctions on Niger following the coup and has threatened the use of armed force to restore constitutional order.

France has some 1,500 troops stationed in Niger to aid in fighting jihadist groups that have plagued the country along with the wider Sahel region for years.

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