Niger’s military junta has slammed France as the country continues to be supportive of ousted Nigerien President, Mohamed Bazoum, reports Africa News and agencies, September 2.
The junta accused Paris of “blatant interference” on August 1 due to a potential military intervention by the country and its stance on the ousted Bazoum.
Thousands of protesters took to the streets of the West African country’s capital, Niamey to voice anti-French sentiment. The angry crowd called for French troops to be sent packing from Niger as many in the country continue to oppose western imperialism and military interventions, particularly from ECOWAS and the Western world.
The protesters are supporters of the military junta, Niger’s National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland and they gathered outside an airbase where France’s troops were based on September 2.
Also, the junta has called for Sylvain Itte, France’s ambassador to Niger to depart the country in a letter addressed to him.
France currently has 1,500 troops on Nigerien soil, aiding local authorities to fight Islamist extremist insurgencies that have gained prominence in the Sahel region.
Niger’s military regime’s spokesman, Colonel Amadou Abdramane criticised French President Macron, saying that his support for Bazoum, “constitute further blatant interference in Niger’s domestic affairs.”
Mr Macron recently called on all the states in the Sahel region to adopt a responsible policy on the Niger issue, following July’s coup d’état.
On September 1, the French President continued to emphasise his support for Mohamed Bazoum, praising his “commitment, courage and action”.
With regards to Niger’s new rulers, President Macron said that they had no legitimacy and that he would only negotiate with Niger if Bazoum was reinstated.
Bazoum,63, became Niger’s President in 2021, in what many saw as a step in the right direction to achieve stability in the turmoil-stricken country.