As the situation develops in post-coup Niger, a back and forth game of ‘ultimatums’ is taking place, and mostly the demands are getting ignored by the opposing parties.
The last consequential bit of news to come out of the conflict is that the Niger junta now is demanding a complete withdrawal of all French troops stationed in the country, reportedly 1,500 strong.
“The National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland, which was set up by Niger’s coup leaders, has demanded that France pull out its troops from the country by September 3 […]. A representative of the council reiterated that France was given 30 days to withdraw its armed forces from the country. That deadline expires on September 3.
There is growing discontent among Nigeriens with the presence of French troops in the country, the television channel said. According to Sky News Arabia, there are calls for the government to cut off food, power and water supply to the French base in the country’s capital Niamey in order to force the troops to leave Niger.”
This came right after reports that the coup leaders suspended all military treaties with France.
“The Nigerien National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland (CNSP) announced the annulment of all security and military agreements with France. […] In addition, Nigerien military leaders announced the lifting of the curfew imposed since July 27, following the coup in which President Bazoum was ousted and detained by his own guard.”
In another ultimatum, last week, the Foreign Ministry of Niger told French Ambassador Sylvain Itte to leave the country within 48 hours.
The decision to expel the ambassador was a response to actions taken by the French government that were ‘contrary to the interests of Niger’.
Paris acknowledged Niger’s request to ambassador, but replied that the rebels have no authority to make such decisions.
It stands to reason that the request for troop removal will go unheeded as well, which primes the situation for a military confrontation.
The Niger junta members, on their part, also ignored an ultimatum made by the countries from the regional bloc ECOWAS, demanding that they reinstate ousted President Bazoum.
“‘In the event, the authority demands are not met within one week. Take all measures necessary to restore constitutional ordering in the Republic of Niger. Such measures may include the use of force’, said Dr. Omar Alieu, President of ECOWAS.”
A latest ingredient in the present explosive mix in the Niger situation is the involvement of the EU:
“European Union foreign ministers meet in Spain on Thursday to discuss their response to last month’s coup in Niger – including possible sanctions – as they also consider news of military officers declaring they have seized power in Gabon.
The instability in the West and Central African countries will be a major theme of the informal gathering in the medieval city of Toledo, along with discussions on the war in Ukraine with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.”
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The post A Game of Ultimatums: Niger Demands French Troops Leave Country by September 3 – Paris Has Already Refused To Withdraw Its Ambassador, as the European Union Weighs a Response appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.