Niger junta cancels military ties with France

2023-08-05 18:55:37
Niger junta cancels military ties with France

Niger's military junta has canceled a series of military cooperation agreements with France in a bid to put an end to Paris’ military presence and exploitation in the impoverished West African country.

In a televised speech on Thursday, Amadou Abdramane, the representative of the military government, announced his decision to cancel five military contracts with France that date between 1977 and 2020.

Abdramane added that a diplomatic notice will be sent to France in this regard. France has not shown any immediate reaction.

Like recent coups in neighboring Burkina Faso and Mali, last week's military takeover in Niger came amid rising anti-French and anti-colonial sentiments, with Nigeriens accusing the former colonial ruler of meddling in their country's affairs.

France has between 1,000 and 1,500 troops in Niger, who are claiming to be fighting the so-called 'war on terrorism'. In Niger, there are not only French forces but American and European soldiers as well.

Burkina Faso and Mali have already expelled French troops, many of whom are now stationed in Niger.

Meanwhile, the turmoil has prompted some European nations to evacuate citizens by plane. Paris said on Thursday it has completed the evacuation of hundreds of French and European citizens.

France has a long history in West Africa, where it was a colonial power until 1960. Since independence, France has maintained a military presence in the region, which has caused long-term tensions that now seem to be reaching new heights.

French troops withdrew from Mali in 2022 and Burkina Faso in 2023 following military coups. The new leadership in Niger could lead to another withdrawal from a country France saw as a key ally in the Sahel.


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