Ghana

France to evacuate citizens following Niger coup

France is to evacu­ate its citizens from Niger because of anti-French senti­ment following last week’s coup.

The coup has prompted demonstrations against the former colonial power, with the French embassy coming under attack.

Germany urged its nationals to take up France’s offer to help other Europeans, and Italy is also organising a flight.

It comes as the juntas in Burki­na Faso and Mali warned that any forcible attempt to restore the ousted president would be seen as a declaration of war.

The two neighbours, also for­mer French colonies, have both moved away from France and towards Russia, after staging their own coups in recent years.

Their warning marks a signif­icant twist that could escalate the volatile situation in a region battling an Islamist militant insurgency.

Niger, which is rich in uranium, has been a key Western ally in the fight against jihadist extremism in the Sahel and both France and the US have military bases there.

After Mali’s military leaders chose to partner up with the Rus­sian Wagner mercenaries in 2021, France moved the centre of its regional counter-terror opera­tions to Niger.

On Sunday, protesters outside the French embassy in the capital, Niamey, chanted “Long live Russia”, “Long live Putin” and “Down with France”.

They also set fire to the walls of the embassy compound.

The French foreign ministry said its evacuations would begin on Tuesday in view of this situ­ation.

It said its decision was also influenced by the closure of Ni­ger’s airspace, which had made it impossible for people to leave by their own means.

There are an estimated 600 French nationals in Niger and fewer than 100 Germans.

Italy’s foreign ministry says there are around 90 Italians in Niamey out of a total of just under 500 countrywide, most of whom are in the military, the AFP news agency reports. —BBC

FRANCE is to evacuate its citizens from Niger because of anti-French sentiment following last week’s coup.
The coup has prompted demonstrations against the former colonial power, with the French embassy coming under attack.
Germany urged its nationals to take up France’s offer to help other Europeans, and Italy is also organising a flight.
It comes as the juntas in Burkina Faso and Mali warned that any forcible attempt to restore the ousted president would be seen as a declaration of war.
The two neighbours, also former French colonies, have both moved away from France and towards Russia, after staging their own coups in recent years.
Their warning marks a significant twist that could escalate the volatile situation in a region battling an Islamist militant insurgency.
Niger, which is rich in uranium, has been a key Western ally in the fight against jihadist extremism in the Sahel and both France and the US have military bases there.
After Mali’s military leaders chose to partner up with the Russian Wagner mercenaries in 2021, France moved the centre of its regional counter-terror operations to Niger.
On Sunday, protesters outside the French embassy in the capital, Niamey, chanted “Long live Russia”, “Long live Putin” and “Down with France”.
They also set fire to the walls of the embassy compound.
The French foreign ministry said its evacuations would begin on Tuesday in view of this situation.
It said its decision was also influenced by the closure of Niger’s airspace, which had made it impossible for people to leave by their own means.
There are an estimated 600 French nationals in Niger and fewer than 100 Germans.
Italy’s foreign ministry says there are around 90 Italians in Niamey out of a total of just under 500 countrywide, most of whom are in the military, the AFP news agency reports. —BB

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