BREAKING: Niger Junta Revokes Military Deals With France
The Nigerien junta on Thursday said it had revoked various military cooperation agreements with France after ousting President Mohamed Bazoum in a coup last week.
Abdramane added that a diplomatic notice will be sent to France to that effect. There was no immediate response from France.
Reuters reports that France has between 1,000 and 1,500 troops in Niger that are helping to fight an insurgency by groups linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State that has spread across the region.
The junta also announced on national television that it was ending the mandates of Nigerien ambassadors to France, Nigeria, Togo and the United States.
Niger’s regional and Western partners, including France, have imposed sweeping sanctions in an effort to pressure the coup leaders to restore constitutional order after Bazoum’s ouster – the seventh coup in West and Central Africa since 2020.
But junta leader Abdourahamane Tiani, the former head of Niger’s presidential guard, has said he will not back down. Tiani has won the backing of the juntas in Mali and Burkina Faso and cited persistent insecurity as his main justification for seizing power, even though data on attacks in the country shows that security has actually been improving.
However, Niger’s junta on Thursday said it was scrapping military pacts made between Niamey and France, following last week’s coup.
The Republic of Niger’s coup leaders also announced they would end the mandates of ambassadors to four countries as they face international pressure to restore the democratically elected leader they ousted last week.
According to France24, the West African defence chiefs were set to wrap up discussions about possible intervention in Niger on Friday, as mediators from the regional bloc push coup leaders in Niamey to restore constitutional order before an approaching deadline.
The newly installed junta said it would respond immediately to any “aggression or attempted aggression” against it by West African countries, three days before the expiry of an ultimatum to restore order given by regional bloc ECOWAS.
“Any aggression or attempted aggression against the State of Niger will see an immediate and unannounced response from the Niger Defence and Security Forces on one of (the bloc’s) members, with the exception of suspended friendly countries,” declared one of the putschists in a statement, alluding to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Mali.
Meanwhile, Niger’s coup leaders on Thursday evening announced they were ending the mandates of ambassadors to four countries, as they face international pressure to restore the democratically elected leader they ousted last week.
“The functions of the extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassadors of the Republic of Niger” to France, Nigeria, Togo and the United States “are terminated”, one of the putschists said in a statement read on national television.
The deposed President Mohamed Bazoum, has said that if a coup attempt to depose him is successful, “it will have devastating consequences for our country, our region and the entire world.”
In a column in The Washington Post, Bazoum called on “the US government and the entire international community to help us restore our constitutional order.”
The appeal was Bazoum’s first lengthy statement since his presidential guard detained him on July 26 and took control of the Niger government.