ER Editor: We’ve been waiting for this. See other reports on Niger’s reaction against France here. Some tweets —
The French Embassy in Niger is officially closed
The French Foreign Ministry reported this. Now this embassy will operate from Paris.
“The embassy will liaise with French citizens and with NGOs working in the humanitarian sector, which we continue to fund,” the statement said. pic.twitter.com/NhooTkg8xg
— S p r i n t e r (@Sprinter99800) January 2, 2024
French embassy is officially closed in Niger indefinitely.
Kudos to our comrades in Niger, successfully fighting against their evil colonists! pic.twitter.com/kRAtvD6FbA
— nuno marques (@numarqs) January 2, 2024
ICYMI: #France has closed down its embassy in #Niger until further notice, the foreign ministry says, barely two weeks after the last French troops left the country in the wake of a coup that ousted a key #aris ally.https://t.co/nJq3zGoo8M
— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) January 2, 2024
As the RT report below indicates, Niger has joined forces with Mali and Burkina Faso in what is called the Alliance of Sahel States (AES). See this Jan. 1, 2024 story concerning Mali —
Last UN troops leave African country – The peacekeeping mission in Mali was terminated at the request of the local authorities
The UN announced on Sunday that it had completed the withdrawal of its peacekeeping force from Mali, with the last soldiers to depart by the last day of the 2023. International troops were deployed to the African country a decade ago to protect civilians against separatist and Islamist groups, including Al-Qaeda.
The Malian authorities requested the termination of the mission in June 2023, citing the “failure” to stabilize the situation in the country. The request was unanimously approved by the UN Security Council.
France shuts down embassy in Niger
Paris has promised to maintain contacts with NGOs on the ground, after pulling out troops and diplomats from Niamey
The French government has closed its embassy in Niger “until further notice,” France’s foreign ministry announced on Tuesday, complaining about “serious obstacles” preventing it from carrying out its diplomatic duties in the former colony.
A group of Nigerien army officers ousted President Mohamed Bazoum at the end of July, accusing him of failure in the war against Islamist terrorists in the Sahel. Within weeks, the new government in Niamey declared the French ambassador persona non grata and demanded the withdrawal of French troops. Ambassador Sylvain Itte initially refused to leave, arguing that the military government was not legitimate, but eventually ended up departing at the end of September.
“The embassy will continue its activities from Paris,” the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. “In particular, it will maintain a link with the French nationals present on site, and with the NGOs working in the humanitarian sector, which we continue to finance, for the direct benefit of the most vulnerable populations.”
Niger’s new rulers have taken several other actions to cut ties with Paris since taking power. In late December they suspended all cooperation with the Paris-based International Organization of Francophone Nations (OIF), claiming it was merely a French political tool. They also encouraged nations on the continent to “decolonize their minds” and promote Pan-African values. Niger also canceled an anti-migration pact with the EU.
After France was forced to withdraw some 1,500 troops from the former colony in December, Niger’s new leadership announced plans to reassess military agreements, signed by previous governments with other Western powers.
Paris suffered a number of setbacks in several other former West African colonies which deposed their Western-backed leaders in recent years. It was forced to withdraw troops from Mali following tensions with the military government in 2020. Last year, Paris also pulled out of Burkina Faso after the country’s military rulers ordered them to leave.
In September, Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso signed a charter to form the Alliance of Sahel States (AES) aiming to fight external and internal security threats together. In December they endorsed plans to create a federation uniting the three West African nations.
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