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France Closes Embassy In Niger

Supporters of Niger’s National Concil of Sefeguard of the Homeland (CNSP) hold Niger national flags during as they gather at Place de la Concertation in Niamey on August 20, 2023. (Photo by – / AFP) Niger’s new leaders have accused France, a close Bazoum ally, of being behind the anti-coup stance taken by ECOWAS, which on Saturday made a fresh push for a diplomatic solution.

According to diplomatic sources on Thursday, France will close its embassy in Niger, where anti-French sentiment has increased since a coup in July, because an attack and personnel evacuation rendered it unusable.

“After the attack on our embassy July 30, and the setting up of a blockade around our building by Niger forces, most of our diplomatic staff left in late September,” the sources said.

“The French embassy in Niger is therefore no longer able to function normally or fulfil its missions. Taking note of this situation, we have decided to close our embassy.”

Local staff members have been dismissed and compensated, the sources added.

France, a former colonial power, lost interest in Niger after its military overthrew elected leader Mohamed Bazoum in a coup on July 26.

The new government of the Sahel region severed defense agreements with its longstanding security ally, drove out the French ambassador, and strengthened relations with Russia.

This month is when the French troops who were stationed in Niger as part of an anti-jihadist operation are scheduled to leave.

Written by PH

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