France says ready to respond if military, diplomatic facilities in Niger targeted


The French military said on Friday that it is ready to respond if any renewed tensions in Niger target its military and diplomatic facilities in the conflict-hit West African country.

“The French army is ready to respond to any renewed tension that would target French military and diplomatic facilities in Niger,” the French General Staff told Anadolu in a written statement.

Amid tensions that have risen in the weeks following the ouster of Niger’s democratically elected President Mohamed Bazoum, the military administration’s Foreign Ministry last week gave French Ambassador Sylvain Itte 48 hours to “leave Nigerien territory.”

Ambassador Itte refused to comply and remained at his post, a move that was hailed by French President Emmanuel Macron.

Niger’s military authority ordered the expulsion of the French ambassador Thursday in a letter addressed to the French Foreign Ministry.

Itte “no longer enjoys the privileges and immunities attached to his status as a member of the embassy’s diplomatic staff,” the military administration said.

Niger was plunged into uncertainty on July 26 when Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani, a former commander of the presidential guard, led a military intervention that ousted President Bazoum.__The Nation