Niger: Niger junta expels French ambassador

NIAMEY: Niger‘s junta, which seized energy in a coup on July 26, mentioned on Friday it has ordered French ambassador Sylvain Itte to go away the nation inside 48 hours, as relations between the West African nation and its former colonial ruler deteriorated additional.
Like current coups in neighbouring Burkina Faso and Mali, the army takeover in Niger got here amid a rising wave of anti-French sentiment, with some locals accusing the European nation of interfering of their affairs.
In an announcement, the junta-appointed overseas ministry mentioned the choice to expel the ambassador was a response to actions taken by the French authorities that had been “opposite to the pursuits of Niger.”
It mentioned these included the envoy’s refusal to answer an invite to satisfy Niger’s new overseas minister.
The French overseas ministry didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
France has referred to as for President Mohamed Bazoum to be returned to workplace following his ouster and has mentioned it might help efforts by West African regional bloc ECOWAS to overturn the coup.
It has additionally not formally recognised a call by the junta in early August to revoke a raft of army agreements with France, saying these had been signed with Niger’s “official authorities.”
The deterioration in Niger-France relations echoes post-coup developments in Mali and Burkina Faso, which have booted out French forces and severed long-standing ties.
Niger has strategic significance as one of many world’s greatest producers of uranium and as a base for French, US and different overseas troops which are serving to to struggle Islamist militant teams within the area.

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