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NIGER COUP: French President, Macron Demands Junta’s Exit.

Emmanuel Macron

French President, Emmanuel Macron, on Thursday, demanded the release of Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum who was detained on July 26, 2023, in a military coup led by the former commander of Niger’s presidential guard, Abdourahamane Tchiani.

Macron, also called for a return to democratic order in Niger, a former French colony whose elected leadership was toppled in a military coup in July.

Leaders in the Economic Community of West African States bloc said that they would keep all options on the table for a peaceful resolution to the crisis and ordered the activation of an ECOWAS standby force to restore constitutional order in Niger.

Former colonial ruler France and the European Union suspended security cooperation and financial aid to Niger following the coup, while the United States warned that its aid could also be at stake.

The coup came as a major blow to relations between France and Niger.

France has soldiers stationed in several parts of West Africa as part of anti-terror operations.

The French president said, “If we hadn’t got involved with operations Serval and then Barkhane, there’s no doubt Mali and Burkina Faso will no longer exist, and I’m not sure myself if Niger will still exist.”

He said African states had requested the French operations which successfully prevented the formation of caliphates a few thousand kilometres from France’s borders.

Macron noted, “When there is a coup and when the fight against terrorism is not the priority of the new rulers, France does not feel called to remain engaged.”

“This is indeed dramatic for the countries concerned.”

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