December 8, 2023

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Macron says France will end its military presence in Niger by the end of 2023

Macron says France will end its military presence in Niger by the end of 2023

Bertrand Guay/AFP/Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron said that the withdrawal will be organized in the coming weeks.


France will end Military presence in Niger By the end of 2023, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday, in the latest major development amid high tensions between the two countries since the junta took control of Niger in July.

“We are putting an end to our military cooperation with the de facto authorities in Niger because they no longer want to fight terrorism,” Macron said regarding the military commanders who took over the rule of the northwest African country.

France does not recognize the military authorities in Niger, and insists that ousted President Mohamed Bazoum, who was ousted in the coup, remains the only legitimate authority in the country.

Macron said that the decision to end “cooperation” came “because we are not there to deal with internal politics and to be hostages of the coup plotters,” referring to the military group.

He added that the withdrawal will be organized in the coming weeks.

Macron said: “They will return in an organized way in the coming weeks and months, and for that, we will coordinate with the coup plotters because we want this to happen quietly.”

Niger’s ruling military force said it welcomed France’s decision to withdraw its forces from the country, according to a statement published on Niger’s state television, Télé Sahel.

“This Sunday, we celebrate another step towards Niger’s sovereignty. French troops and the French ambassador will leave Niger by the end of the year,” the statement said. “Imperial and neo-colonial powers are no longer welcome on our national territory.”

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He added: “Any person, institution or structure whose existence threatens the interests and outlook of our country will have to leave the land of our ancestors, whether they like it or not.” He added, “Our resistance will be steadfast and will deal with any institution or structure that attempts to challenge the highest interests of our nation.”

France had deployed military forces to the country, many of which were there to assist with counter-terrorism missions, on the grounds that Niger was a relatively stable democracy in a region fraught with political unrest, terrorism and Islamist insurgencies. CNN reported.

There are still about 1,500 soldiers.

In response to a question about the withdrawal timetable, Macron said there would be no French soldiers in Niger by the end of 2023.

Mohamedou Hamidou – Reuters

Thousands of Nigeriens gather in front of the French army headquarters, in support of the coup soldiers and demanding that the French army leave, in Niamey, Niger, on September 2, 2023.

Earlier this month, two US officials also said that the United States may begin withdrawing its forces from Niger in the coming weeks. CNN reported earlier. The two officials said that up to half of the 1,100 US troops stationed in Niger may be withdrawn from the country.

The French President also said that he had decided to return the country’s ambassador to Niger. sylvan ety, to France.

Macron said: “France has decided to return its ambassador.” “In the coming hours, our ambassador will return with a number of diplomats to France.”

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The announcement comes just over a week after Macron announced that the ambassador was “Literally being held hostage in the French embassy.” “The delivery of food to the embassy in the capital, Niamey, was prevented.”

After the July coup, the junta ordered Etty to leave the country, later revoked his visa and instructed police to expel him.

But the diplomat remained in place, according to the French presidency, and the French authorities reiterated that they did not recognize the authority of the military council.

French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said Etty was still operating Advance this monthHe added that “he will stay as long as we want him to stay” and that the official’s return was Macron’s decision.