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France initiates negotiations for partial troops withdrawal from Niger

France initiates negotiations for partial troops withdrawal from Niger France wants to withdraw part of its troops from Niger (Photo: Getty Images)
Author: Daria Shekina

France is in negotiations with the Nigerien junta regarding the withdrawal of French troops from the country, according to Le Monde.

France is negotiating with the junta in Niger to withdraw its troops from the country following a coup. Currently, there are nearly 1,500 French troops in Niger who were deployed to combat jihadists in the Sahel region.

According to an anonymous source cited in the article, discussions about the withdrawal of certain military groups began a month after the ruling junta denounced long-term military cooperation agreements between France and Niger, stating that "it is normal to discuss this insofar as anti-terrorist cooperation has been suspended,"

Niger's Prime Minister designated by the military, Ali Mahamane Lamine Zeine, announces that the parties are in contact to as quickly as possible send French troops back to France.

Coup in Niger

At the end of July, the security detail of the incumbent President of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum, took him hostage and declared the overthrow of the government. Following this, the leader of the presidential guard, Abdourahmane Tchiani, declared himself the new head of Niger.

The West African bloc of countries (ECOWAS) announced plans for military intervention in Niger if Bazoum was not released. In response, the junta threatened to kill the president in the event of an invasion.

Later, the junta demanded that the French ambassador leave the country. In this context, French President Emmanuel Macron stated that his country would support any military or diplomatic efforts by ECOWAS countries. In turn, the junta secured the support of Mali and Burkina Faso.