Macron Refuses Niger Junta’s Demand to Withdraw French Forces

Macron Refuses Niger Junta’s Demand to Withdraw French Forces
Emmanuel Macron, France's president, during a news conference on the sidelines of the Group of 20 (G-20) Leaders Summit in New Delhi, India, on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023. The Group of 20 isn’t the right place to seek diplomatic progress on ending Russia’s war in Ukraine, Macron said after Kyiv voiced frustration at the summit’s final communique this weekend.

(Bloomberg) -- French President Emmanuel Macron rejected a demand from Niger’s military rulers to withdraw its troops from the country after a coup strained relations between the two countries.

“If we redeploy, I would do it only at the request of President Bazoum,” Macron said, referring to Niger’s ousted leader, as the G-20 summit wrapped up in New Delhi, India, on Sunday. “We don’t recognize any legitimacy in the declarations from the putschists.”

His comments came after the ruling junta said France was ignoring its request for the 1,500 French troops stationed in Niger to leave the country by Sept. 3. Nigerien and French military officers met earlier this month to discuss a plan for a French troop withdrawal from Niger, a junta spokesman said late Saturday.

“As of today, there’s been no progress regarding the implementation of the plan,” Colonel-Major Amadou Abdramane said in a statement on public broadcaster Tele Sahel.

Read more: Niger Junta Expects Rapid French Troop Withdrawal Amid Talks

Tensions between Niger and its ex-colonial power have grown since the junta ousted President Mohamed Bazoum in a July 26 coup and severed military ties with France. Macron has said he would back a decision by the Economic Community of West African States to use force to restore democracy — though the regional bloc has backed off the threat and said diplomacy is its priority.

Abdramane also said France was deploying troops in several West African countries as part of preparations for a possible regional military intervention aimed at ousting the junta.

“France continues to deploy its forces in several Ecowas countries as part of preparations for an attack on Niger in collaboration with the regional bloc,” Abdramane said.

A spokesman for the Ecowas Commissioner said he wasn’t authorized to speak on the matter. An Ivory Coast defense ministry spokesman wasn’t aware of any troop movements.



Comments - Please in order to comment.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

[%% img-description %%]

The Spy Bill: An autocratic roadmap to State Capture 2.0

Join Heidi Swart in conversation with Anton Harber and Marianne Merten as they discuss a concerning push to pass a controversial “Spy Bill” into law by May 2024. Tues 5 Dec at 12pm, live, online and free of charge.

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.8% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.2% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.2% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.2%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options