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Home » Niger: France to begin withdrawing troops ‘this week’, as Nigeria’s FM warns intervention ‘still on table’

Niger: France to begin withdrawing troops ‘this week’, as Nigeria’s FM warns intervention ‘still on table’

by Aloka Malewana
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French troops will begin withdrawing from Niger “this week”, Paris announced on Thursday (5 October), while Nigeria’s top diplomat has said that a military intervention by the West African regional bloc ECOWAS was “still on the table”.
“We will begin our disengagement operation this week, in good order, safely and in coordination with the Nigerians,” the French army has said after a falling-out with the West African country’s military junta in power since a July coup. The announcement comes a week after France’s ambassador to Niger returned to Paris under pressure from the regime. President Emmanuel Macron had announced on 24 September the withdrawal of 1,400 French troops, which were deployed in Niger as part of a wider fight against jihadists across the Sahel region, ”by the end of the year”.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Foreign Minister Yusuf Maitama Tuggar has said that two months after the coup in Niger, a military intervention by ECOWAS was “still on the table”. In an exclusive interview with a French media outlet, he stressed that diplomatic efforts were still under way, but that ECOWAS had not changed its position on the possible use of force to restore constitutional order in Niger. Nigeria currently holds the rotating presidency of ECOWAS. Asked whether Nigeria’s president was open to negotiating a transition period with the Niger junta, Tuggar replied that Nigeria and ECOWAS still insist on the release of ousted president Mohamed Bazoum and the return of constitutional order.

Source: The North Africa Post

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