President Macron Firm on French Military Presence in Niger Amid Political Crisis

2023-09-10 11:14:06

By Le Figaro with AFP

Published 2 hours ago, Updated 2 hours ago

Emmanuel Macron at the G20 summit in New Delhi. AMIT DAVE / REUTERS

The Nigerien prime minister appointed by the military in power said at the beginning of September that “exchanges” were underway to obtain a rapid departure of French soldiers.

At the end of the G20 summit meeting this weekend in New Delhi, President Macron reaffirmed his firmness towards the junta which took power in Niger. “If we redeploy anything, I will only do so at the request of President Bazoum and in coordination with him“, declared the Head of State about the French military presence, which has around 1,500 soldiers in the country as part of the anti-jihadist fight in the Sahel. “Not with officials who today take a president hostage», he continued, while President Bazoum is still hostage to the putschists.

The Nigerien military regime, resulting from the coup d’état of July 26, had accused Paris on Saturday of “deploy your forces» in several West African countries with a view to a “assault» against Niger. “We do not recognize any legitimacy in the statements of the putschists“, replied Emmanuel Macron, asking “the release of President Bazoum and the restoration of constitutional order».

After the overthrow of the Nigerien head of state, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) threatened military intervention in the country, aimed in particular at restoring Mohamed Bazoum to his functions. A decision supported by France.

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