France Starts Evacuation Of Its Citizens, Others From Niger Over Coup

by Opeyemi Alimi
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Niger Coup

The French government has announced the commencement of the evacuation of its citizens and other Europeans from Niger due to escalating violence.

This was disclosed in a statement released by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, citing the attacks on the French embassy and an ongoing airspace closure, which left French nationals unable to leave independently as the reasons for the development.

The statement reads, “Given the situation in Niamey, the violence that took place against our embassy the day before yesterday and the closure of airspace which leaves our compatriots without the possibility of leaving the country by their own means, France is preparing the evacuation of its nationals and European nationals wishing to leave the country.”

In response to the unrest, France has abruptly suspended all development aid and budget support to Niger, urging an immediate return to constitutional order under President Mohamed Bazoum.

The fate of the 1,500 French soldiers stationed in Niger, however, remains unaddressed.

Many Nigeriens, particularly supporters of the recent coup, are protesting against French influence, seen in attacks on the French embassy and public expressions of anti-France sentiment.

Some protesters waved Russian flags, though it’s unclear whether Russia has any involvement in the situation. This pattern has been observed in other recent coups in West Africa.

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