Niger Expels French Ambassador in 48 Hours

Niger’s junta has issued a 48-hour eviction notice to the French ambassador in Niamey, as revealed in an announcement by the Nigerien Foreign Ministry on Friday, August 25.

In a communique broadcasted by Nigerien state-owned broadcaster ORTN, the Foreign Ministry disclosed that Ambassador Sylvain Itte had declined participation in a scheduled Friday meeting with the country’s foreign minister.

The ministry cited this refusal as the reason for the withdrawal of Itte’s credentials, along with “other actions by the French government deemed contrary to Niger’s interests.”

Responding to this development, the French Foreign Ministry conveyed to AFP late Friday, “France has acknowledged the request made by the putschists.” However, it emphasized that “the putschists lack the authority to make such demands, as the ambassador’s accreditation solely derives from Niger’s legitimate, elected authorities.”

In a separate statement issued late Friday, the US State Department conveyed that Niger’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs had informed them of “letters circulating on the internet urging the departure of specific American diplomatic personnel.” Nevertheless, the department clarified that these “letters were not officially issued by the ministry” and stressed that “no formal request for the departure of US government personnel has been made.”

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