Niger’s junta leader ends military cooperation with France
By Matthew Eloyi
The new leadership of Niger Republic has ended the country’s military cooperation with its former colonial ruler France, a spokesman for the junta said.
France has more than 1,000 soldiers stationed in the Western African country who are tasked with fighting Islamist militias in the Sahel belt that stretches across the continent.
Earlier, the Foreign Ministry in Paris said broadcasters France 24 and RFI had been suspended in Niger.
The military authorities also announced the withdrawal of Niger’s ambassadors to France, the United States, Togo and Nigeria.
Recall that officers of Niger’s presidential guard arrested the democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum and declared that he had been removed from power.
The commander of the elite unit, General Abdourahamane Tchiani, subsequently appointed himself the new ruler.
Shortly after Tchiani came to power, his camp suspended the constitution and dissolved all constitutional institutions.
France already had to withdraw troops after the military coups in the neighbouring countries of Mali and Burkina Faso.
Niger was considered the last ally of the West in the region, and there are concerns that the country will now pivot towards Russia.
France has been involved in the fight against insurgents in the region for years with its military missions.