EU Expresses Support for French Ambassador in Niger
On Monday, the European Union expressed “full support” to the French ambassador to Niger, who is still in Niamey despite the expiration of the deadline given to him by the putschists to leave the country.
“The putschists’ decision to expel the French ambassador is a new provocation that cannot help achieve a diplomatic solution to the current crisis,” said Nabila Masrali, spokeswoman for the Union’s diplomatic department.
She also stressed that “the European Union does not and will not recognize the authorities that emerged as a result of the coup in Niger,” according to AFP.
Macron: Our ambassador will stay
Notably, despite pressure from the military council in Niger to force him to leave, French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed earlier on Monday that his country’s ambassador, Sylvain Etty, would remain in Niamey, indicating that French diplomats there had shown their commitment to their duties.
Speaking at a meeting of his country’s ambassadors in Paris, Macron said his country “will continue to support President Mohamed Bazum until he returns to the presidency of Niger.”
He also added that “French diplomacy respects the sovereignty of the peoples”, adding that Europe’s borders with Africa are facing threats due to escalating anger against the legacy of colonialism.
In addition, he stressed that the army of his country should be the most efficient and powerful in Europe.
And after mass demonstrations took place in the vicinity of the French embassy in Niger’s capital Niamey on Sunday demanding the departure of the ambassador and the departure of the French from the country, on Monday the intensity of protests in front of the embassy decreased. and the atmosphere became almost calm.
Notably, the Council of War, which seized power late last month and ousted Bazum, announced on Friday that the French ambassador has 48 hours to leave the country, but the latter is still present despite the deadline.
Niamey is home to a major French military base with dozens of military aircraft and is used to counter armed groups on the African coast. It also performs the tasks of monitoring waves of illegal African migration to Europe.
As for the number of French forces, it is limited and does not exceed 1,500 people.
However, after the military coup in the country on July 26, hostility towards Paris increased, especially after the military accused him of encouraging the Economic Community of West African States to intervene militarily to restore the power of the ousted president.
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