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The French Army will start leaving the Niger Republic “This Week.”



France announced on Thursday that it would begin removing its troops from Niger this week following a disagreement with the post-coup government, which demands the departure take place under its “conditions”.

The French army’s statement comes after weeks of hostilities between Paris and Niger’s newly installed military authorities, who took over on July 26.


In response to a demand from the new government in Niamey, President Emmanuel Macron, who had intended to make Niger a particular ally, announced the withdrawal of 1,400 French troops from the country “by the end of the year” on September 24.

Macron declared that the military partnership with Niger was “over”.


Last Monday, the Niamey-based French ambassador left the nation when the government demanded his departure.

According to the military command, “We will start our disengagement operation this week, in good order, safely, and in coordination with the Nigeriens.”


The French troops are in Niger as part of a larger campaign to combat militants throughout the Sahel.

On duty at the French facility in Niamey are about 1,000 soldiers and airmen.


Near the frontiers with Burkina Faso and Mali, in the northwest Niger’s Ouallam and Ayorou, 400 more people are stationed with local forces.

The “three borders” region is renowned as the Islamic State group’s safe haven.


The military authorities in Niger reacted in a statement posted on social media on Thursday that the first soldiers to depart will be those stationed in Ouallam.

By the end of the year, they added, the airbase in the nation’s capital Niamey will be decommissioned.


Our priorities, Conditions
According to the military leadership, soldiers who are retiring from the region would need protection in order to escape their exposed front positions.

This might include aerial assistance from the larger force stationed at the airbase outside of Niamey.


In the statement, Niger’s military leaders pledged to “pay close attention to ensure that this withdrawal occurs in accordance with our interests and conditions.”

Since the new leadership started demanding their leave, the French troops have had to contend with unpredictable food deliveries and recurrent anti-French protests outside the Niamey base.


After another military coup-born administration in Mali sought the evacuation of France’s forces, France had increased its presence there.

In addition to the drones and fighter jets that were already in place, Paris had also dispatched armored vehicles and helicopters.


Its forces will now have to leave either through Chad, the location of France’s Sahel theater headquarters, or Benin, which is in conflict with the Niamey regime and to the south.

Niamey currently restricts French planes over its airspace.


A mediation by Algeria?
The democratically elected president of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum, was overthrown in the third coup in the area in as many years.

Similar moves were taken in 2021 and 2022 in Burkina Faso and Mali, two other former French colonies.


An Algerian offer to mediate discussions with the military leadership, which includes a suggested six-month transition period, was welcomed by Nigeria on Thursday.

ECOWAS, a confederation of 15 West African nations, threatened violent involvement after the rebel officers overthrew Bazoum, and Nigeria currently holds the rotating president of ECOWAS.


Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, the foreign minister of Nigeria, told France 24 that ECOWAS welcomed all parties “seeking a peaceful resolution to this impasse (including) Algeria.”

He stated that military involvement was “not off the table” but that negotiation was still the preferred course of action.


Niger’s border neighbor Algeria has stated that it opposes any armed intervention and has suggested a diplomatic resolution.


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