Europe 1 with AFP / Photo credits: Balima Boureima / ANADOLU AGENCY / Anadolu Agency via AFP 16:41 pm, September 25, 2023The day after Emmanuel Macron announced the upcoming departure of the French ambassador and soldiers from Niger, the capital Niamey was calm. Nigeriens interviewed said they welcomed the decision. No demonstrations were planned Monday morning in the city, where residents were circulating normally.
Niger's capital, Niamey, was calm on Monday a day after Emmanuel Macron announced the upcoming departure of the French ambassador and soldiers, a decision welcomed by some residents interviewed by AFP. No demonstrations were planned Monday morning in the city, where residents were circulating normally. Soldiers, weapons in hand, took up positions in front of the France embassy compound. Military vehicles are also parked there.
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After a standoff of several weeks between Paris and the military regime that came to power two months ago by a putsch, Emmanuel Macron announced Sunday the withdrawal of French soldiers "by the end of the year" and the departure of the French ambassador Sylvain Itté "in the coming hours", two demands of the military in power, for several weeks. No particular movement suggesting a departure of Sylvain Itté has been observed since Sunday evening around the embassy.
"We don't need (the French)"
The decision was welcomed by several Nigeriens interviewed in the streets of the capital. "The French military must leave immediately (the country) because really, we do not need them," Marzouk Doulla told AFP in the working-class district of Yantala, near the French embassy. "They say they are helping us" but "we have not seen any change," he added, referring to the presence of some 1,500 French soldiers in Niger as part of the fight against jihadists.
A view shared by another resident, Abdoulkari Hassane Maikano. "It's been a very long time since the France brought its army here to Niger but they haven't been able to eradicate terrorism," he said. The military in power in Niamey, who overthrew elected President Mohamed Bazoum on July 26, celebrated Sunday night "a new step towards the sovereignty of Niger".