France’s ambassador in Niger ‘taken hostage,’ says President Macron


ATHENS: Under Niger’s new military administration, France’s ambassador has effectively been “taken hostage,” said President Emmanuel Macron, reported French media on Friday evening.

“In Niger, as I speak to you, we have an ambassador and diplomatic members who are literally taken hostage at the French Embassy,” Emmanuel Macron said during a visit to the north-western town of Semur-en-Auxois, according to broadcaster BFMTV.

As Niger’s leaders do not allow fresh supplies into the embassy compound, the ambassador is forced to eat only military rations, he added.

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

At the end of August, Niger’s military administration ordered the expulsion of Ambassador Sylvain Itte, but Paris refused.

Military administrations also took power in neighbouring Burkina Faso in 2022 and in Mali in