French President Emmanuel Macron announced this Sunday the return “in the next few hours” of the French ambassador in Niamey, Niger, and the departure of French troops from the country before the end of the year.
“France has decided that its ambassador must return” and “we will end military cooperation with Niger,” Macron declared in a television interview.
According to the president, the 1,500 French soldiers will leave “in the coming weeks and months” and the withdrawal will be complete “by the end of the year.” These soldiers were deployed to fight terrorism in the region.
At the end of August, the military junta in power in Niger ordered the expulsion of the French ambassador to Niamey, Sylvain Itté, and removed his immunity.
The deadline for the ambassador’s departure had already passed, but France did not ask him to return because it did not recognize the legitimacy of the military junta that governs Niger after the coup d’état on July 26.