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Niger’s new rulers end military cooperation with France

niger coup
Niger Army spokesman Col. Major Amadou Adramane speaks during an appearance on national television after President Mohamed Bazoum was held in the presidential palace, in Niamey, Niger, July 26, 2023, in this still image taken from video. ORTN/via Reuters TV/Handout via REUTERS.

The new leadership of Niger 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.

According to another announcement by the military authorities, which took power in a coup on July 26, had withdrawn their ambassadors to France, the United States, Togo and Nigeria.

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. (dpa/NAN) 

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Written by Tom Chiahemen

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