- Feb 7, 2022
Uongozi wa kijeshi wa Niger umemtaka Balozi wa Ufaransa kuondoka nchini humo, hatua inayozidisha mzozo wa kimataifa katika Taifa hilo la Afrika Magharibi baada ya mapinduzi yaliyomwondoa madarakani Rais aliyechaguliwa kwa njia ya Kidemokrasia.
Serikali ya Kijeshi ya Niger pia iliidhinisha wanajeshi kutoka nchi jirani za Mali na Burkina Faso siku ya Ijumaa kufika katika ulinzi wake, na kuibua mzozo kati ya mataifa mengine ya Afrika Magharibi yakitishia kumrejesha madarakani Rais aliyechaguliwa kwa njia ya kidemokrasia wa Niger.
Niger junta gives French envoy 48 hours to leave
Niger's coup leaders have given the French ambassador 48 hours to leave the country as bilateral ties continue to deteriorate rapidly.
The junta said Sylvain Itte had refused to respond to an invitation to meet Niger's foreign minister.
France, a former colonial power, said the "putschists have no authority" to order such an expulsion.
Paris opposes July's coup, saying that ousted President Mohammed Bazoum must be returned to office.
Friday's announcement was made by Niger's foreign minister installed by the junta.
This follows a series of statements and demonstrations hostile towards France.
The French foreign ministry responded by saying that it had "taken note of the putschists", the AFP news agency reported.
"The putschists do not have the authority to make this request, the ambassador's approval coming solely from the legitimate elected Nigerien authorities," the ministry added.
Gen Abdourahamane Tchiani, Niger's coup leader, last week pledged to return the West African nation to civilian rule within three years.
He made the announcement after meeting mediators from the West African regional bloc Ecowas in the capital, Niamey.
Ecowas has threatened military action to reverse last month's overthrow of President Bazoum if talks fail.
The junta head said that Niger did not want a war, but would defend itself against any foreign intervention.
"If an attack were to be undertaken against us, it will not be the walk in the park some people seem to think," he warned.
Gen Tchiani also reiterated criticism of what he called the "illegal and inhumane" sanctions imposed by Ecowas on the landlocked impoverished country.
This has included cutting electricity, resulting in blackouts in Niamey and other major cities, as well as blocking crucial imports.
Lorry drivers have been stuck for weeks waiting to bring in supplies, forcing up food prices.
Ecowas rejected the three-year timeframe after talks on Sunday.
"Ecowas is not accepting any prolonged transition again in the region. They just have to get ready to hand over in the shortest possible time," Abdel-Fatau Musah, the bloc's commissioner for political affairs, peace and security, told the BBC.
He said the "military aspect is very much on".
Niger military rulers order France ambassador to leave the country
Niger’s military leadership asked the French ambassador to depart the country – a move further escalating the international crisis in the West African nation after a coup that deposed the democratically elected president.
Niger’s military government also authorised troops from neighbouring Mali and Burkina Faso on Friday to come to its defence, raising the stakes in a standoff with other West African nations threatening force to reinstate Niger’s democratically elected president.
French Ambassador Sylvain Itte was asked to leave Niger within 48 hours in a letter that accused him of ignoring an invitation for a meeting with the foreign ministry.
The letter dated Friday, also cited “actions of the French government contrary to the interests of Niger” as among the reasons for Itte’s expulsion.
France’s foreign ministry on Friday said Niger’s “putschists have no authority” to ask its ambassador in Niamey to leave.
“The ambassador’s approval comes solely from the legitimate elected Nigerien authorities,” AFP news agency quoted an unnamed official as saying.
Niger, a former French colony, was France’s partner before last month’s coup in the fight against armed groups. A growing wave of anti-French sentiment has followed recent coups in the region with some locals accusing the European country of interfering in their affairs.
French President Emmanuel Macron sharply criticised Niger’s coup-makers on Thursday and demanded the release of deposed President Mohamed Bazoum.
The military leader, General Abdrahmane Tchiani, signed two executive orders authorising the “security forces of Burkina Faso and Mali to intervene on Niger territory in the event of aggression”, military official Oumarou Ibrahim Sidi said late Thursday after hosting a delegation from the two countries in the Nigerien capital, Niamey.
Sidi did not provide further details about the military support from the two countries whose military regimes have said any use of force by the West African bloc ECOWAS against Niger’s military government would be treated as an act of war against their own nations.