Picture: for illustration purposes

Niger Accuses France of Military Aggression Preparations

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

Niger’s coup leaders accused France on national television last Saturday of amassing forces and equipment within countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), in preparation for a potential military intervention. Colonel Amadou Abdramane, a spokesman for the military leaders, stated France is in cahoots with ECOWAS for an impending aggression against Niger.

This alarming assertion comes amid escalating tensions between Niger and its old colonial power, following the controversial military coup on July 26 that ousted President Mohamed Bazoum. The French government has refused to abide by Niger's request to withdraw its troops and envoy from the Sahel nation. This defiance has led to repeated public protests in Niamey, where thousands gather daily around French military bases, fervently demanding their withdrawal from Niger’s territory.

Implicitly backing Niger's claim was a defense source from France confirming to the AFP news agency, that negotiations were in progress with the new regime over the withdrawal of its military presence.

With over 1,500 French soldiers and 1,100 American soldiers stationed in Niger to combat Islamist extremist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIL, the evolving conflict casts a shadow over Niger's stability and security. As a precaution, the United States has begun moving its soldiers from Niamey to Agadez.

As this international power dynamic unfolds, the coup leaders in Niger remain resolute. They seek to stand their ground against the ECOWAS bloc, which has threatened military intervention if diplomatic pressure to restore Bazoum to the presidency fails.

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