France assures that the withdrawal of its troops from Niger will begin “this week”


The French Armed Forces assured this Thursday that the withdrawal of troops from Niger will begin “this week”, after the French president, Emmanuel Macron, assured that the process would end before the end of the year, amid tensions with the junta. military establishment established after the July coup d’état. “We are going to begin the withdrawal operation this week, in order, security and coordination with the Nigeriens,” said the General Staff of the French Army, as reported by the French television channel France 24. Thus, it highlighted that “the forces To this end, the French forces present in Niger will rely on the French military device deployed in the subregion, which has reinforced intelligence and ground and air intervention capabilities” to support this withdrawal process. “Supplementary reinforcements could be sent from France if necessary,” official sources explained, emphasizing that “all French soldiers and materials removed from Niger will return to France”, ruling out their deployment in another area. region of. “This is not a redeployment to another country,” these sources have noted, who have also pointed to “a new degradation of the security situation” in recent days, in apparent reference to the latest attacks against the Nigerien Army near of the border with Mali, which has left dozens of soldiers dead. Finally, they stressed that “all necessary provisions have been adopted so that this withdrawal is carried out in good conditions and to confront all threats or attempts at obstruction, whatever their origin and nature.” At the end of September, the military junta of Niger demanded from France a “negotiated” schedule for the withdrawal of the nearly 1,500 French soldiers present in the country, following the announcement made by Macron, after months of demands by Niamey. Previously, he had highlighted that the Paris decision represents “a new stage towards the country’s sovereignty” and praised that it is “a historic moment.” “Any person, institution or structure that poses a threat to the interests and projects of the country must leave the land of the ancestors, whether they want to or not,” he said. Relations between both countries have been greatly damaged after the July coup, which overthrew the then elected president, Mohamed Bazoum. The coup junta has accused Paris of using the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to carry out a military intervention in the country to restore constitutional order. The military junta has also canceled bilateral agreements at the Defense level and has harshly attacked Paris for its role in the deterioration of security in the country, marked by the increase in attacks by jihadist groups. For its part, France has said on several occasions that it considers that Bazoum remains the legitimate president and has demanded his reinstatement in office.

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