Friday, May 24, 2024

France to withdraw ambassador, troops from Niger

(Al Jazeera Media Network) French President Emmanuel Macron says his country will withdraw its ambassador and troops from Niger in the wake of the July coup that overthrew democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum.

“France has decided to withdraw its ambassador. In the next hours, our ambassador and several diplomats will return to France,” Macron said in a televised interview on Sunday.

He added that military co-operation was “over,” and French troops would withdraw in “the months and weeks to come,” with a full pullout “by the end of the year.”

France has maintained some 1,500 troops at its base in Niger, and refused a request by the new military rulers for its ambassador to leave.

Thousands of people have protested in recent weeks in the capital Niamey, including outside a military base housing French soldiers. The new rulers had been demanding the exit of the French ambassador and troops after Macron refused to recognize the coup.

The development comes as France’s troops have also been asked to leave its former colonies Mali and Burkina Faso.

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