France is refusing to withdraw its ambassador from Niger
French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday said that his country would support a military intervention in Niger to reinstate President Mohamed Bazoum, who was ousted in a July 26 coup.
“We support the diplomatic action, and when it decides to do so militarily, of ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States), in a partnership approach,” the French leader said, according to Africa News.
Since Bazoum was ousted in a July 26 coup, ECOWAS has been threatening military action if he is not reinstated through a diplomatic solution. The junta, led by Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani, has shown no sign that it will release Bazoum and is preparing for an ECOWAS attack.
France has been backing the ECOWAS threats and would likely be involved in any intervention since it has about 1,500 troops in Niger. The US also has about 1,100 troops in the country and a major drone base.
On Friday, the junta, formally known as the National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland, ordered the French ambassador in Niger to leave the country within 48 hours. But Paris rejected the demand, and Macron said the ambassador would stay.
“France and its diplomats have been confronted in recent months with particularly difficult situations in certain countries, whether in Sudan, where France has been exemplary, or in Niger at this very moment, and I salute your colleague and your colleagues who are listening from their posts,” Macron said.
Also read: The crisis in West Africa
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