France President Emmanuel Macron, on Sunday, said the country will pull its soldiers and ambassador out of Niger Republic following the July coup that removed the democratically elected president.
This move brings an end to France’s military presence in Niger, which has been a strong ally in fighting Islamist extremist groups in the country.
Macron said 1,500 troops would withdraw by the end of the year, maintaining that the country refuses to “be held hostage by the putschists”. He also disclosed that French diplomats were surviving on military rations as they holed up in the embassy.
Niger’s coup leaders, on Sunday, announced a ban on French planes, commercial and military so that the new leadership could “retake total control of its skies and its territory.″
In an interview with the France-2 and TF1 television networks, Macron said he spoke to deposed President Mohamed Bazoum and told him that “France has decided to bring back its ambassador, and in the coming hours our ambassador and several diplomats will return to France.”
“And we will put an end to our military cooperation with the Niger authorities because they don’t want to fight against terrorism anymore.”